Magazine Article | August 1, 2016

Executive Well-Being – Body, Mind, And Purpose

Source: Life Science Leader

By Mim Senft, president and CEO, Motivity Partnerships

Your team looks to you for more than just leadership related to getting the job done. How you treat yourself, how you communicate with others, and the actions you take influence everyone around you. That means you have the opportunity to positively influence the health and well-being of your team. That’s good for you, your team, and your company.

There is no doubt that physically taking care of yourself can help you be a better leader. That doesn’t mean you have to be a marathon runner or a high-level yogi. Taking short breaks, holding walking meetings with your team members, and participating in an on-site physical activity can help influence those around you to get more active and help you feel better. It is also good for business.

More movement and less sitting have real benefits in the workplace:

  • It boosts oxygen levels in the brain, which helps increase focus
  • Moving allows your brain to view problems in a different way
  • Your immune system works more efficiently, keeping you healthier

Most of us are on information overload. We are all receiving thousands of pieces of information on a weekly basis. It’s important to know how to cut through the “noise.” Mindful leadership means being better at understanding whether an issue is one more fire drill, or whether it can have a larger impact on company goals.

Mindful leaders are more likely to:

  • Have a deeper understanding of their own strengths and challenges
  • Better manage stress
  • Understand what motivates different team members, to better utilize talent

These are just some of the reasons why MBA programs at universities like Harvard and Wharton are including classes that incorporate mindfulness and leadership. The scientific research on mindfulness shows that learning how to be more mindful can help better regulate emotional responses and increase the capacity to be a better creative problem-solver.

We know that being physically and mentally at our best is good for business. But without a connection to purpose, we miss out on maximizing our own, and the team’s, potential. The research is clear that employees are more productive when connected to purpose.

Helping your team connect to purpose might be:

  • Making sure you understand what purpose means to your team and showing them how that connects to the company
  • Your team working together to give back to the community
  • Younger workers mentoring older workers to help them better utilize technology and older workers mentoring younger workers to better understand the company culture and goals

As a leader, your time is very valuable. When you understand your own connection to body, mind, and purpose, and being a visible model, you and your team will be at your best.