Leading wellbeing for your team and yourself

I’ve just recovered from an illness that proved hard to shake off. The recovery time has got me thinking about what it takes to stay well – mentally, physically and emotionally. After being unwell it’s hard to  get back into the groove of your work routine, it can be even harder when wellbeing hasn’t been prioritised from the get-go. 

The measures that leaders often put in place when it comes to their team are just as important for them in their own leadership, but so many leaders I speak with have a hard time making sure they give themselves the same care and grace that they give their team. 

When it comes to wellbeing, take it back to basics

It might sound simple, but your wellbeing rests on a foundation of your physiological needs which include food, sleep and exercise. 

Just because it sounds basic, doesn’t mean that anyone is getting it right. In fact, when I speak to leaders who are burnt out, or just struggling to get back into the swing of things after sickness, almost all of them claim that they’re doing everything right, before we uncover that they’re really not eating well or getting good sleep at night or doing enough exercise.. Falling down in any one of these areas can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unable to function the way you’d like. 

Food and your wellbeing in leadership 

When things get busy or we’re not feeling 100%, we all turn to convenience. There’s nothing wrong with this, taking the cooking off the to-do list can free up time and help to make things more manageable on an overwhelming day. But convenient food is often just that … convenient. Choosing convenience foods for extended periods of time can make you feel even worse, lacking energy, not getting the nutrients you need, spending more money (and the guilt that comes with it) and eating too much to try and stay full. 

Everyone has different needs when it comes to their food, but it should be a priority to make time to cook or prepare meals ahead of time so that you can get the nourishment and energy you need to tackle the day. 

Sleep and leadership 

There are so many reasons why you might not be getting enough sleep. Sickness, family troubles, business worries, overworking so that you eat into your sleep time … it all has an impact. 

Getting enough sleep is one thing, getting quality sleep is a whole other. Eight hours of sleep after a big night out or after a huge day of putting in extra hours at the office is just not going to cut it, particularly when it becomes a habit that lasts beyond one or two instances. 

From personal experience, I know that when I sleep well, I make better choices in business, in leadership –  in all aspects of my life. 

Get moving for your wellbeing 

There isn’t a single leader I know who would deny that it’s important for their team to have a good work/life balance, with the ability to go out for a run on their lunch break or head home on time to make it to a gym class. 

Making time for exercise doesn’t mean that you need to be in the gym every day becoming an elite athlete. It might look like having time to kick a soccer ball around with your kids, walking the dog, going for a swim or taking a walk around the block at lunch. You’ll feel better for moving your body and be in a better position to make good business decisions. 

Remember, your leadership sets the tone for your team

As a leader, everything you do sets an example for your team. If you stay back every night for hours, your team will take the cue from you to do the same. If you eat at your desk and never take a lunch break, your team will do the same. 

But when you do these things, you’ll struggle to get a balance that you need for your wellbeing. You can’t lead your team effectively when you’re running on empty. 

Want to work on getting your wellbeing in check to improve your leadership? People Make the Difference can help. To find out more, visit www.pmtd.com.au or call us on 0412 333 415. Try our online leadership training videos – $99 for complete access. Great value if you’re committed to growing your leadership potential.