Mens sana in corpore sano
A healthy mind in a healthy body; if I heard my father say this to me once he said it a thousand times. Perhaps this is the route to my interest in personal well-being.
The expression is a truism for businesses too – the office of national statistics refers to start-up businesses as births and you may have already guessed what they call closing businesses – deaths!!
In my line of work, helping businesses to grow, the two things are intertwined; it is essential to gain an initial understanding of the health of the business I am working with:
Culture; customers; cash-flow; profit
It could just as easily be:
Weight; nutrition; blood pressure; activity
Each element has a unique impact on the well-being of the business or the person and cumulatively the impact can be profound – positively or negatively.
Over 20 years ago I started working mutually on company and company leaders (although I confess this was more due to a belief that if you feel good mentally and physically you will perform well in your chosen discipline).
The basis for this belief is wrapped up in over 40 years’ experience in my chosen sports 25 years in martial arts and 20 years indoor rowing (yes – indoor rowing an international sport).
To succeed in any sport you need the “right attitude” for attitude consider – frame of mind (mental state); if your mental health is not at optimum level with your physical state, it is highly unlikely that your performance will deliver what you would expect or desire.
The strange thing is, that we all at one level or another accept that we need to improve our business performance or our physical well-being, but, for some inextricable reason we start out with the right intentions and lose our way – those habits, deeply ingrained into out psyches return and force us back into the wrong place.
As a fan of ancient history, it would seem like a good point to refer to Aristotle; “We are what we repeatedly do; then excellence is not an act, but a habit”.
Granted, it is a loose translation of the Greek original, but the principles still there. If we break it down into its key components we will see:
We are what we repeatedly do – this lumps good and bad habits; the more you do them, the deeper they go, the harder they seem to be able to change.
Excellence is not an act – you can’t pretend to be good, you have to practice and become good; from good to great and from great, to excellent.
Habit – regular tendency or practice.
I admit, I enjoy training and exercise; having been involved in it so long it has become a deeply ingrained habit. I also admit I enjoy helping people to be the best that they can be.
There is a strong commercial argument which cannot be ignored. If you feel good – mentally and physically (just like a sports person) you perform better. This is a proven fact. Ironically this is ignored; from my experience this is mainly due to the fact that people tend not to know what to do.
As an example, understanding nutrition can be a confusing minefield. I see my role being the person to demystify and deliver results – from a business and personal well-being perspective.
Crossing the line
I crossed the line many years ago; what I mean by that is I ask questions that relate to the physical and mental resilience of the owner manager. Not just questions about the customer base or balance sheet. As I mentioned before; if you feel well you perform better, if you don’t feel well your performance is hampered – if you are happy you are helpful, if not, you are more likely to moan.
By crossing the line and bringing physical and mental health forward in the minds of the owner manager – helping them to become Healthy Leaders – the big intention is to see their new-found interest cascade throughout their business/organisation. So, that we can take things like: Inactivity Stress; Anxiety and Weight issues as an integral part of running a business; not an added pressure, but an untapped opportunity to truly help your team to be the best that they can be – be a Healthy Leader and lead the way.
To find out more go to our Healthy Leaders website http://healthy-leaders.co.uk/
Philip J Dyer,
Chairman nxo Ltd