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“The health of the leader dictates the health of the business”

“The health of the leader dictates the health of the business” Powerful words relayed to me by a business psychologist – Steven Sylvester – almost 15 years ago when he was working with myself and the sales teams within our company on achieving optimum performance. Those words have always stuck with me when considering my own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of others at Brother UK.

It started me on a pathway of considering all aspects of wellbeing from physical, emotional and spiritual perspectives, noting that individual congruency (alignment of these elements) is the ultimate state for performance, or as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi alludes to in his excellent book “Flow”.

It can be a bit difficult for business to grasp all those elements, with primary concern normally being for strategy execution, customer retention and growth.Ensuring that the health of the people responsible for delivering those elements is often overlooked. No point having a brilliant strategy if the people responsible for execution aren’t brilliant, too!

When people walk through your door each day, all elements of their life walk in with them. Family feuds, relationship difficulties, health issues, money worries, new babies, self-confidence issues are resident in your corporate headquarters on a daily basis, sometimes in suspended animation, other times showing in the faces or output of your teams.

So, what is the new wellbeing? A lunchtime fitness class, running club or massage therapy?Or something deeper and more meaningful at a human level? I guess it’s all of the above. Our own portfolio includes blood pressure checks, flu jabs, counselling, NLP courses, access to mental health first aid, healthy eating options and an annual wellbeing day, for example. The list isn’t exhaustive, yet it’s designed to put a focus on the importance we put on individual wellbeing as a key contributor to our overall company performance. We use the word “alacrity” at Brother UK which broadly means “a happy state of readiness.” By developing an environment where people are happy at work, you foster more discretionary effort, stronger teams and an adaptability in your work culture.

As someone that leads the organisation, I have to take responsibility and accountability for all aspects of my own health, too (back to the title of the article). Having recently trained as a mental health first aider, it’s important to continually develop the skills to identify when under emotional load or intense pressure and ensure you take care of myself. It is tough at the top and you have to build resiliency and situational awareness of your state.

I use an acronym called ‘DESK’ – diet, exercise, sleep and kindness (to self), as my winning pattern to stay in good shape. I’m looking forward to sharing some more insights at the forthcoming #LiveBetterMCR Conference. Lead well.

Phil Jones will be speaking at the #LiveBetterMCR conference on October 3, at the Etihad Stadium. For more information or to book your place visit Business Psychologist @stevensylvester work can be seen on 'The Sports Psychologist' Facebook Page Steven Sylvester's Business & Sport Psychology Book "DETOX YOUR EGO" is available now on Amazon.


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