Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, M.S., N.D., Naturopathic Physician, Nutrition Expert and Founder of the Dr. Kellyann Brand.
We’ve all heard the age-old saying: “You are what you eat.” This is the idea that putting good food into your body leads to feeling good. I wholeheartedly believe this. I also believe something similar applies to business: In the professional word, “You are what you teach.” The energy you project outward into the work world will be the energy and success you receive in return. In other words, your team will observe and learn from how you behave as you communicate and manage down, up and laterally inside your organization.
Having a healthy leadership style is crucial for your own well-being and for the well-being of your team; not just the team that reports up to you, but the teams that report up to your senior-level colleagues. I believe it will make you a more effective, stronger and ultimately respected leader across the company at large. So how do you do it?
Here are some tips to cultivate a healthy leadership approach:
Lead by example.
How you manage your team significantly shapes the type of environment that is created. For instance, if you interact with your employees on a daily basis, you can naturally encourage communication and create an environment open to collaboration. Conversely, if you are tucked away in an office with the door closed, it may create an illusion of disconnectedness. This could then result in a more silent and independent workplace. If you don’t have regular “face time” (in person or on Zoom) with everyone on your team, make yourself available for “office hours” once or twice a week. In my case, I like to put out a virtual sign at least once a week saying “The doctor is in.”
Leading by example also means setting clear goals for yourself in addition to your team and department. This will encourage your employees to set their own personal goals, which fosters growth and employee development on a much larger scale.
You can also demonstrate a healthy work/life balance by prioritizing self-care, eating healthy foods and taking your allotted vacation time to recharge. When you show your employees you value your own mental health, they will be encouraged to do the same. This, in turn, can lead to a more energized and effective team. It’s a win-win!
Encourage a culture of open dialogue.
As the leader, you play a vital role in setting the tone for your workplace. It’s up to you to actively cultivate the type of environment you desire.
While it is good to have your own agenda and outline for your business, it’s important for leaders to also listen to their team and be open to ideas from others. A manager who encourages dialogue can generate a culture of openness and acceptance. This can also be a great self-esteem booster for employees, as they feel comfortable speaking up and contributing ideas. These fresh perspectives might also lead to business growth by finding untapped opportunities.
Seek support from your team.
Remember, one is the loneliest number and being a leader does not mean you have to do everything alone. You must trust your team and delegate tasks. Delegation not only empowers your team members to take ownership of their work, but it also helps distribute the workload more evenly and gives your direct reports and their direct reports a chance to shine and be noticed by a larger group of people within the organization. Their success and growth is your success and growth.
To be a healthy leader, it is also important to seek guidance from your own support system including mentors, peers and employees. When you actively invite feedback on your own performance you present the opportunity to adjust your leadership style for the better.
There is always more to learn and there are always more ways to grow, regardless of what level of business you are in. A healthy leader will accept feedback on their own performance and digest how to use it to improve their own leadership abilities.
In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to being a business leader. It’s a role that takes great customization, responsibility and focus. But by being mindful of how you lead, and what it takes to be a healthy role model for your team, you can create an environment that supports growth, productivity and success for everyone.
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