H: Holistic & Healthy
This is a term that gets a lot of bad press from those of us that are from the judgemental and critical side of humanity. It is often interpreted as something advocated by the “tree hugging hippies” of this world (see I said I was judgemental) and therefore dismissed out of hand. In other words it is often mistakenly associated with alternative medicine.
When I take a step back and look at this more closely it makes sense. The reality of it is that it means people’s needs including psychological, physical and social should be taken into account. In other words if I want to be an emotionally intelligent and resilient leader I need to take care of myself in all of those aspects. It’s about taking a whole view of my life, my work and my physical and psychological health. When we examine this even closer it is clear that all of these areas are interrelated and to ignore any one part of our overall balance in life is to possibly send it in to imbalance.
Often we find that executives and leaders have been ignoring one or two aspects of their overall well being believing that they either do not need attention or that paying attention and giving energy to those areas will detract and distract from the focus they have on achieving their goals. It is not unusual to find a senior executive who cultivates many work based relationships and networks for the purpose of furthering their business and career but who has spent little time socialising and enjoying the company of family and true friends. Equally, we encounter leaders whose physical health has been eroded over time by not giving enough energy to maintaining fitness and healthy lifestyle.
Our emotional resilience is affected by how healthy we feel, our emotional connections with others, the quality of the food we put in to our body, the levels of exercise we maintain and crucially our inner landscape. We are complicated creatures and if we want to have healthy lives and healthy relationships with others we need to take a whole view of ourselves.