Leadership with a Wellness Approach


When you are not feeling good about yourself you are not performing at your best.

Laura Timbrook

Episode transcription.

Today we’re going to actually be talking about leadership with a wellness style approach. What does this mean? What does it entail? and Why the hell would it matter? And it’s really interesting, because sometimes I think we don’t tie our leadership skills into our health.

I’m here to tell you, leadership and wellness matters. And if you’ve heard me talk about my core principles of wellness, we talk about fitness and nutrition, sleep. But a larger part of that is also understanding purpose, and relationships. And that’s really where our leadership styles come in. And we’re going to talk about the connection, how this all works. But first of all, let’s discuss why we should care, we know our mood, our well being is drastically affected by our health, if we’re not sleeping, right, we’re not eating the right foods, we’re grouchy, we’re hangry, we’re miserable, and we are not thinking clearly and we’re not putting our best foot forward. So in that aspect, it really makes a difference that we are leading with a healthier style approach.

Leading with empathy, Brene Brown talks heavily about leading with empathy, and understand what you are going through what your employees are going through, having that mindset of walking a day in a man shoe, or woman show for that matter. But having understanding what your workers are going through what your team member is experiencing, maybe someone’s having a really hard time. Right now, I’ve actually seen, you know, a pretty good increase in empathetic leadership. Naturally, I think we all are going through kind of similar crap. I’ve been saying lately that right now, I feel like what we have been going through since 2020, is been the great leveling. We all are having problems with kids at home, zoom school, no matter how high up you are in an organization, everyone’s kind of dealing with the same thing at home. And I think now we are more understanding of what certain employees are going through what we’re going through, we kind of all in better terms of that me, my see everybody, we’re going through the same stuff, storm just in different shit. And I think that is made a lot of us think about what somebody else is feeling. So it’s really important that when we focus on leadership, we are focusing on empathy

We also need to show gratitude, let’s be grateful. We have shown so much gratitude with our healthcare heroes and those on the front lines that are really putting everything together making sure we get toilet paper, or that we’re getting our vaccinations and things like just saying thank you. And I think we need to keep that in mind when we think about that too. In leadership, having that mindset of Hey, good job, thanks for the extra effort. Hey, you know, that was really nice of you to do X, just those little Pat’s in the back. And I know and a lot of times in manufacturing, we kind of feel like and that’s being soft, it’s not being soft, it’s being respectful. It’s being mindful that your employee, or your worker is doing something that did a good job and giving them the respect, showing them the gratitude they deserve.

And that actually brings us exactly to our next point, and that is talking about respect. Now, the funny thing is, is when I’m sure most of you were growing up, and maybe a parent, a teacher, somebody at some point told you, you become who you are around, and that is exactly how it works. As we get older, you become who you are around. So if you’re around miserable people, you are going to be a miserable person. We talk about it all the time. In leadership skills, it takes one bad apple to spoil a team, one miserable person can ruin your entire team. But the same goes for a good person or a good leader that shows respect. If you are showing respect to your employees, to your team members to others around your your team members are more likely to turn that around. So many times we kind of want to lead with that heavy hand. Well, they should give me respect. I’m their manager. I’m their director. Well, unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way anymore, especially with the younger generations. So we need to start leading with respect if we want to earn their respect back. So if you have some issues where your employees aren’t respecting you, maybe take a little look in the mirror and see Is there something you can improve.

The other thing we want to do is lead ourselves with a healthy lifestyle, we’re going back to that whole reflection idea. We want our employees to be healthier, we want them taking care of themselves, we have to do the same. One of the things we talked about with leadership too is as a good effective leader is being able to lead, being able to inspire, to motivate these are all amazing traits when we look at some of the best leaders. And in doing so that kind of reflects on our overall wellness. If you are leading a team, if you are leading with a healthier lifestyle, managing your stress, working out eating good nutrition, all of that is going to work as inspiring, and motivating your team to make those choices as well. Now, the caveat to this is we need to be inspiring and motivating by doing and not by telling,

It’s not our jobs as a leader to force somebody to do something, we need to inspire and motivate them.

Laura Timbrook

And that’s what we’re looking for in a good leadership. When it comes to that nutrition, that healthy lifestyle. And we want to be the motivation for them to make a better choice. If our employees see us eating garbage for lunch, not working out, not managing our stress. Guess what most often our employees are going to do, they’re going to follow in our footsteps, they’re going to do the same thing. But if we start making changes in ourselves in our leadership, our employees are more likely to take a look at themselves and see, hey, you know, Bob’s been doing really good taking that walk during lunch? Oh, no, maybe I’ll give it a shot. That’s how it begins. What have you seen as leaders that you really appreciate? And how are you mimicking that the next thing we come to is transparent communication.

I understand as a leader, not all the time, can you be completely transparent, but sometimes being completely transparent is saying, Hey, listen, I’d love to give you more information. I just can’t right now. But this is what I can provide you. It’s not always about telling them everything you’re not supposed to tell them. Transparent communication is not about putting all your secrets out there. It’s about letting them know what I can tell you. This is where we’re at. This is our concerns. And going forward. Because so many times if somebody knows you are more transparent in your communication, and you are doing the best you can your employees will most of the time work harder for you. And I say most of the time, because sometimes we do just have bad apples. But the good ones, they’ll come for you. They’ll show up they’ll work if you put the work into this is a give and take relationship because that is a quality of a good leader.

And the last thing I want to talk about is managing our stress. I you can watch a bad team go down by one stressed out leader. Same thing for an executive, the whole kitten caboodle goes away. If a leader is stressed, if an executive management is stressed, it rolls down a hill. So if we don’t want our employees to be stressed, if we want them to be working hard for us, we have to be managing our stress, we have to be controlling it, because again, they are going to reflect what they are seeing back.

So how does this all tie into the core principles of wellness when we look at what are the core principles of wellness we have our fitness, our sleep on our nutrition, then we have our purpose in our relationships. Well, obviously leading with a healthy lifestyle, and managing our stress really helps build those. sleep, nutrition, fitness, right? That’s all in that physical form of health. But then when we talk about empathy, gratitude, and transparent communication, that really starts to work on building bottom of the iceberg, building those good relationships, understanding your purpose, all of this ties in so if you haven’t been leading with a wellness style approach, how can we go about starting this and not totally freak out. Our team are organizations that something is wrong? Well, like everything we talked about, we want to make a small step forward. And I think the best split place to start is either choosing is starting to choose with your gratitude. Let’s start changing that mindset, making a little bit more effort to say good job well done, I appreciate it. And you don’t have to go in hardcore. You don’t want to go in hardcore also, because your employees are going to pull back and they’re like, gonna be like, Wait a second, we talked about this with Lisa Ryan on an earlier podcast on how to include gratitude in the workforce, we want to slowly added in. And then once you start doing that, maybe start making some healthier changes, watch that stress level, bring in some empathy when your employees are saying something to you, or letting them know, Hey, listen, I know you have been working your butt off through this time. You know, what are you doing for vacation? How’s everything going? have that conversation? Because this is what’s going to help. So we want to start small. We want to start with one simple thing. Start wherever you feel the best starting. So I want to leave you with one point yourself as a leader, what are you doing? How are your leadership skills tying in to your overall health and wellness? If they aren’t, I really suggest you make some changes. You start leading with a wellness style approach, putting a healthier mindset first, because we know when we focus with a healthier mindset, we are safer, we are more productive, our employees are more engaged and we will have more retention. I hope you guys enjoyed this episode.

If you would like to hear more, reach out to me at Laura at Laura Timbrook calm and I’ll talk to you all next week. Hey guys, thanks for listening. My name is Laura Timbrook. I’m a national board certified health and wellness coach and wellbeing strategist for the manufacturing industry. If you like what you’re hearing, please share this with your organization. If you want to talk more about improving your organization’s overall well being you can visit Laura timbrook.com My goal is to improve the well being of your manufacturing workforce.

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