If you’re a leader of your business, I am sure you view it as a massive part of your job to ensure your staff reach their full potential and there is cohesion and collaboration between teams. And that your teams feel healthy, cared for and engaged. This promotes increased productivity and a happy workforce. Doesn’t it?

But what if you are trying to do this and it’s just not working? There are many factors that could be in play, but have you considered that if you aren’t happy and healthy, your staff won’t feel the same way either? I have many conversations with business leaders across many different industries and sizes of company and this principle always rings true. Lead by example;

You must help yourself before you are able to help others.

“Just as an airline asks you to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others, you cannot be effective in raising those around you if you don’t work on yourself first.”
Stephen M.R. Covey, Trust and Inspire.

I was reminded of this in the front seat pocket when I was on a flight last. I always wondered why this would be the case. If the mask did fall down I would instinctively try to attach it onto my children first. This would be a very short-term fix though. If I lost consciousness because I didn’t fix my own mask first, I would longer term be useless to them.

It is very similar when attributing this to health and wellbeing in the workplace. Company leaders are keen to help their staff (quite rightly) but as an Inspirational leader they should start with themselves. Promote being healthy by showing others the correct path. Go first and show them it is possible, then give them the tools to be able to follow you down the same positive path.

How do you do this though?

Here are a few ideas that you can adopt that will allow you to help yourself and promote this:

Honesty is the best policy:
Be open and honest with your team/family/friends/peers as to your intensions. If you externally express what you are doing then not only will you feel you are being held accountable, you will also have a starting point in which to demonstrate your progress. You will be very pleasantly surprised as to the positive encouragement this will bring.

Set a specific, measurable, timely goal:
As a leader, you will be very used to doing this with your team. It doesn’t have to be something outrageous like an ultra-marathon when you haven’t even been running before, or to become a fully qualified councillor when your degree is in accountancy. Just something that will challenge you enough and you believe is achievable over a set period of time. Add in milestones as well – in this way you will know you are improving. An example could be; committing to a yoga session each morning from 7am – 7:30am before starting your working day.

Efficiency is key:
‘I don’t have time though’ – the biggest excuse I hear on an almost daily basis! This is the most challenging part of turning your lifestyle around and getting into a sustainable, improved routine. Like a meeting that you would schedule in your diary and not miss, schedule it all in; Your fitness sessions, what you are going to have for your lunch (don’t skip it!!) and time to relax and reflect on your day. This all doesn’t have to take long – this whole list could take just 30 minutes. You can spare 30 minutes.

Helping yourself first will show others what is possible, then how to do it themselves, then to see your results, then to start to see their own results. Let’s see what this does to the company’s results!