Leadership Between the Lines

Is Your Organization Healthy? In Every Sense of the Word?

When people think of health, they tend to think of physical and emotional health. Energy, vitality, healthy eating, exercise, etc. are all very important things and something that I've been integrating into my leadership work with execs for years. But there's also the "organizational health" --- the health of the whole organization.

Of course there's the physical component and benefits - less lost time, injuries, health care costs, etc. but there's also the mental, spiritual and leadership component. If you look at the DTE Bootist Leadership® Model, and specifically "Tenet Three" of Bootism™ (to receive my latest publication please opt in on the right hand side), which is about "health, vitality and personal nourishment of the leader and organization," you'll see that creating a healthy organization means not only that you're attending to your own health, and your employees' health, but also to the health of your organization as a whole, its spirit, and relationships.

A couple of ways to do this include (and note that many of these cross into the other areas):

Creating healthy leadership through:

• Healthy communication
• Telling the truth
• Creating trust in the environment for productive feedback
• Direct engagement
• Clear roles
• Linking people's roles to the bottom line so they're bought into their work in a healthy manner

Creating healthy people by:

• Doing things that support on-site wellness
• Truly creating environments and mindsets that support them in taking care of themselves so they're the best instrument of change
• Valuing - truly valuing - and walking the talk of a healthy culture (that means you and your leadership team are on board here - doing the work too - modeling the behaviors and beliefs that create healthy leadership and support a healthy environment)
• Matching people up with the right roles
• Creating, sharing and supporting helpful and productive beliefs

Creating healthy energy by:

• Supporting people in honoring the "my business, your business, God's business" rule
• Paying attention to the energy of the individual, team and organization
• Nurturing and creating space and support for congruency in each individual
• Creating a clear vision and values for your team and organization (and even before that, supporting each person to have their own vision and values clarified.)
• Managing energy vs. time to create the greatest level of productivity and happiness for each person.

Here are a few more qualities of a healthy team/organization:

• People are self aware AND self possessed (in other words, they’re self-aware AND able to shift behavior/do something about their impact)
• Systems are in place so people know what to do, how to do it, and who does it (and can cross function in roles)
• People have fun (even during tough times)
• “Give back” is valued; charitable contributions in the community via time, money, mentoring, etc. are supported and offered for the sake of giving back and being helpful vs. for the sake of “being seen as charitable”
• Benefits are fantastic and people feel valued
• Employees are devoted to great customer service and customers are thrilled and energized
• Collaboration is the norm
• When tough times come – the team rallies, allowing creativity and action to permeate vs. “doom and gloom”
• Conflict is viewed as opportunity for better solutions
• No stifling of creativity or truth — rather it’s “created from”, embraced, applauded and valued.

When you take a look at some of these and decide to make a conscious effort around raising the bar on 1, 2 or all of them, you'll find that the focus and energy around creating a healthy organization will go up. It doesn't take a lot - just one person to set the intention, decide and act can create ripple effects (as we all know!)

So, again, if you knew that shifting your attention and focus and doing something (even little) everyday would have a significant impact on your health and the health of your organization, now, a week from now, a month from now, and even more so a year from now, would you do it? I'll bet you would. Think about it, the beliefs that you hold today impact the decisions and behaviors you make tomorrow which all impacts what you have a year from now. Ready? Go!

To good health all around,