FEATURE — Consider the awe-inspiring human body, its beauty and complexity, its resiliency. When healthy, the body is capable of achieving optimum fitness and agility.
“Lifestyle changes that include healthier diets, regular physical activity, and weight loss of 7-10 percent have shown phenomenal health benefits that can be more effective than medications,” said David Katz, author of the best-selling book “The Way to Eat.”
In like manner, a healthy business can accomplish much through cultural changes. Consider a visit to a physician. Your abdomen hurts. Upon checking in at your local clinic, you are asked a set of initial questions regarding your past and present health. This early assessment will come into play as the doctor reviews your case. Next, you see a nurse or assistant who invites you to stand on a scale to ascertain your body weight. She charts the findings. Your blood pressure and pulse are taken. Your body temperature is recorded. Remember that your purpose for the visit is to relieve an aching stomach. What does body weight, blood pressure, pulse, and temperature have to do with stomach disorder? A lot.
The body is made of systems comprised of organs formed by groups of organized tissues which are made of cells. Within cells are additional components. Complex interactions are taking place at all levels. Health assessment is a process beginning with systems analysis. As the doctor enters the room, she asks, “How are you doing today?” Again comes the response, “My stomach hurts.” Through a series of review questions, further analysis of your physical wellness is conducted. Again she listens to your heart and your lungs seeking information and clarity.
Wouldn’t it be easier to just blame the stomach, and get it over with? But in the body, like in well-run businesses, systems work in harmony to support health. This homogenous environment fosters vitality. Great leaders of companies, much like physicians, gather comparative information before stating cause. They ascertain the pulse of the company. They invite people to weigh-in on issues. They document their findings. Before attempting to discover things at a cellular level (the individual office cubical) leaders must first consider systems that may have broken down. They determine which, if any, organizational level issues are arising.
Great leaders do not assume that by simply removing the pain they have alleviated the cause. We have all witnessed it. Someone gets fired over an issue only to discover upon their absence that the problem still remains. Instead, leaders foster health at all levels; they determine where and why breakdowns are occurring. And most importantly they aim to celebrate good business health.
Local business leaders spoke on what it is that makes a leader successful and a business healthy. The answers are as insightful as they are reliable:
“Leadership is delivering on what you say,” Mike Thompson, of Skywest Airlines, said. “A leader must balance the most important things, or all things fail.”
“The actions of leaders speak louder than their words,” Nick McKinlay, of the Billy Casper Golf Academy at the Ledges, said. “They lead by example.”
“It is as true to marriage as it is leadership, self serving individuals or those seeking self-interests only typically have problems with relationships,” Jared Dupree, of St. George Health and Wellness Magazine, said, “while those who strive to make others feel connected or needed or who validate others seem to have healthier relationships.”
“Successful companies have a process,” George Graff, of Hafen Buckner, Everett & Graff PC, said. “They provide the right product at the right time.”
“Egocentric drive is horrible for companies,” Andy King, of Pinpoint Marketing, said.
“Leaders build leaders. I judge the success of a leader based on how well the company performs after the leader has moved on,” Chris Babcock, of Les Olson Company, said. “Leaders empower others and take ownership of the success of their team.”
Seeking a more vibrant and productive workplace, leaders shun fault-finding and placing blame. Instead, current trends shift negative energy to more healthy outcomes. Blame and success share nothing. Empowerment and collaboration, however, are limitless. Check your systems. Improve processes. Create vitality. Remember to ask, “how are you doing today?” Believing that beyond mediocrity dreams are found.
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Written by Jeffrey T. Sherman for St. George Health & Wellness Magazine and St. George News.
Jeffrey T. Sherman, Principal of ShermanSpeaks is a public speaker and consultant utilizing a relationship-building blueprint to drive fledging companies and individuals to the next level.
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