If you want to lead well, ask yourself these questions;

  • Am I the best leader I can be?
  • Am I behaving like the best leader I can be?
  • Am I enabling myself to behave like be the best leader I can be?

The three questions are clearly linked, we cannot be the best if we do not behave like the best, and we cannot behave like the best if we do not enable ourselves to be.

Change or die?

A study in 2005 amongst heart bypass patients showed that without support, after one year, a staggering 90% of them had reverted back to or not changed their lifestyle, despite the imminent effect it would have on their mortality, conversely, a supported group in another study, this time giving up smoking, had a success rate of 80%. So the success moved from 1 in 10 to 8 in 10, through the right support.

So for people to really make a lasting change to the way they enable themselves to change, they really need a support system in place. That’s why Slimming clubs, sports clubs and alike work so well, that peer support with knowledge and information allows you not only to make the best-informed decisions but also the vital support needed from peers and experts to affect a lasting change.

We adopted this approach to our programmes from day 1, which is why we get such dramatic results (*79% improvement). Not only do delegates work with their peers and hold each other to account, one of us is there also to hold them to account both in the sessions and in coaching sessions before we get together again. When I was a CEO, I used to get really frustrated with the traditional training approach, which usually consisted of “Here’s your two days. You’re fixed now, off you go.” After a few weeks, even the very best training was all but forgotten. The ROI was non-existent and delegates gradually went back their old ways. That is why I always collaborated with innovative providers, who could make content relevant and sustainable.

(*Results of “Overall Improvement in Wellbeing” from our September ’15 open programme delegates, improvement period measured from September ’15 to June ’16)

So how do you enable yourself to behave like be the best leader you can be?

Leadership is rapidly moving away from a traditional “skills and competency” base to one based on high emotional intelligence, resilience, purpose and engagement. The modern leader invests in them self, learns, grows and reflects. They know this will make them a better leader and will enable them to best serve their team.

A leader, who spends 60 hours a week plus working, does not look after them self emotionally or physically, does not get enough sleep, is just not going to deliver as well one who does look after themselves. There is an overwhelming body of research to evidence the link between high levels of wellbeing and performance at work. Put quite simply, those who invest in themselves have more success, achieve their goals, get promoted and are better leaders than those that do not.

Just this month, Daniel Goleman released new research showing just how much impact the negative behaviours and emotions of a CEO can have on the entire organisation. In short, a grumpy leader stifles an organisation.

Many of us already know this, we also know most of the strategies and tools to adopt to get there. We know eating right, exercise, sleep, managing their emotions and thoughts are all part of it, but yet, we consistently do not apply them. We do not enable ourselves to behave like be the best leader we can be. Why don’t we enable this, if it’s so apparent?

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Lets’ look at Clare

Clare completed our programme 18 months ago. Before attending, she was busy being busy as a business owner, working long hours but not focussing at all on herself. She said “Participating in the programme enabled me to take control of my future, getting greater clarity of my personal purpose and vision.  I am continuing to see great results. I am working smarter and I have more focus and purpose which means that I am back in control and taking ownership. Everything I do I do for a reason and it links back to my purpose.

She finally acknowledged that her own wellbeing was intrinsic to her future success. She went on to say “The work undertaken around important facets such as sleep, energy, time is giving me a solid platform upon which to develop a sustainable life for myself, my family and team. I was forced to think about I am living my life, identifying the areas I might need to adjust or change as well as planning where to take things in the future. There is no doubt that this programme has given me the drive and tools to help me live a better life.”

We have researched the key drivers to lead well and have found the fundamental building blocks are quite simple:

Time

Life is increasingly busy, and many of us are running ourselves ragged.

  • How effective are you with your time?
  • Are you doing the right things at the right time?
  • Are you doing the things that will have the most impact?

Eat

It is so easy when we are busy to make the wrong food choices, choices indeed that our emotional brain craves.

  • Are you eating well?
  • Do you drink enough fluid?
  • Are you eating the right amount of the right things to support your physical and emotional needs?

Move

There is no silver bullet to wellbeing, but moving more is close to being one. The endorphin release boosts our mood for hours afterward.

  • Are you moving enough to unlock the energy in your body?
  • Are you treating exercise just as importantly as your other daily tasks?
  • Are you using the physical and mental benefits of exercise to improve your performance?

Sleep

This is vital to recharge our batteries. It helps clear out the debris from the brain.

  • Are you getting enough sleep and rest?
  • Do you feel constantly tired?
  • Do you get 7-8 hours of good quality sleep?

Purpose

Known as Eudemonic Wellbeing, having a purpose is the cornerstone of what drives us human beings.

  • Do you understand your personal why statement and how this fits with your organisational why?
  • Is the work you do meaningful to you, does it light your fire?
  • Do you understand the importance of how why based leadership delivers exceptional results for you, your teams?

Grit

Sometimes referred to as determination and resilience, grit can drive forward results.

  • Do you recover well from a setback?
  • Do you give up too easily?
  • Do you have a fixed or growth mindset?

Headspace

Being able to think clearly is fundamental to making decisions.

  • Is your brain totally fried from all the information out there?
  • Do you understand how to get the best from your emotions?
  • Do you know how to unwind?

Tribe

Building strong relationship and bonds with your tribe by supporting them in achieving their goals can deliver exceptional results as well as being fundamental to your wellbeing.

  • Does your tribe have a clear purpose?
  • Do you understand how to maximise the strengths of individuals in your tribe?
  • Do you nurture your tribe with trust, honesty, and support?

In conclusion, to Lead Well you have to be well. What are you doing to make sure you lead well?

Ian Hacon, Chief Dorothy, Yellow Brick Road

About the author

Ian Hacon has 10 years’ experience in maximizing performance through wellbeing. He has also had 20+ years’ experience at CEO or board level positions. He is ILM Qualified Business Coach and Mentor. He is also a Team GB Ironman Triathlete.

You can contact Ian at ian.hacon@yellowbrickroad.co.uk or 07733265953 or 01493 800032

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