What Is Healthy Leadership?
Healthy. That’s a word that has been at the center of my world for the last 15 years as a family doctor. After years of studying and writing about leadership, I have recently been pondering the word healthy as it relates leadership. What is healthy leadership?
If I were to distill everything I know about leadership into one principle, it would be:
Let me share with you what I mean.
What does it mean to be healthy?
So what do we mean when we call something healthy? Healthy body, healthy emotions, healthy relationships. Sometimes we say a company is financially healthy. We talk about having healthy eating habits, a healthy heart or a healthy mind.
What is healthy? I would say healthy is when anything is in an optimal state of functioning. Something is healthy when it is wholesome, honorable, respectable, upstanding, and effective. When anything is healthy, it is in its best possible state.
What is healthy leadership?
If we agree that being healthy is the best possible state for anything, leadership’s best possible state in my opinion, is one that honors the human spirit.
When you look at the best lead teams and organizations, you see leadership that:
- honors people’s dreams and aspirations.
- honors our strengths and restores our flaws.
- honors potential and pushes us to aim high.
- honors relationships and who we are.
- honors our work by protecting our resources.
- honors our dignity.
- honors our humanity.
- honors life and its majesty, mystery, and splendor.
Do you practice healthy leadership?
Do you honor the human spirit as a leader?
When you are in the midst of healthy leadership, you feel it. It is inescapable.You know it because you feel honored. You feel it because you find an infrastructure in place that is focused on attaining a great vision.
I tell my patients who aim to get healthier physically: to get healthy starts with being clear about where we need to be, but getting there one step at a time. A person usually cannot start losing 50 pounds, stop smoking, begin exercising, and have a healthy diet all on the same day. There are habits that need to be broken, and others that need to be developed. Practicing healthy leadership works much the same way. It’s a step-by-step process.
I wish you the best on your journey to magnificent health—physical, emotional, spiritual—as well as becoming a person who practices the most healthy leadership possible.
Remember honor—always honor the human spirit.
Question: Can you describe what healthy leadership looks like for you?
I look forward to reading your response in the comments section below.
For Further Reading: