01/04/14 By Jennifer Brown

Leadership-HealthIt’s that time of year, when we as business owners are developing our business goals for the New Year. But, how often do we develop leadership goals that focus on our own well-being as leaders? Probably, not that often! A business is typically a reflection of the leader – so if you are feeling stressed, unhealthy, disconnected, and tired – it is likely your business is taking on some

of these qualities as well.

I recently sat down with Marissa Levin to discuss the importance of nurturing ourselves as leaders. Marissa is the founder and Chairman of Information Experts which has been in business for almost 20 years. She founded Successful Culture 2 years ago, through which she coaches business owners and executives on how to reach their personal and professional potential.

When working with leaders on establishing their individual goals, Marissa focuses on a framework that includes being healthy in 4 key areas: mind, body, heart, and spirit. She emphasizes how

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important it is to nurture ourselves in these areas, given the stress associated with building and growing a business. Too often, business owners put themselves at the bottom of the ‘to do” list and then they

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don’t have the energy, patience, clarity of thought, and strength needed to not only run a business, but deal with the unforeseen challenges that come up daily. Marissa said to think of the analogy of the oxygen mask on a plane – we are always told that to be of help to our children, we need to put our masks on first. This goes for our businesses as well…to be effective leaders and support our employees; we must take care of ourselves.

Marissa shared some techniques that we can use to further develop our mind, body, heart, and spirit:

1. Be self-aware. Identify the areas in which you need to develop. Ask yourself some questions about each of the 4 areas. For example, do you need to exercise, eat healthy, sleep more, read, make overdue doctor appointments, get a physical, take time to visit with friends, get out in nature, pursue a passion, attend a seminar, meditate, keep a gratitude journal, follow a thought leader on-line, and/or just have some fun?

2. Have a desire to change your behavior. Think about what will be different if you make these changes. Then write down how these changes will improve not only your business and leadership, but your life!

3. Develop an action plan. Use a worksheet separated into the 4 areas (mind, body, heart, and spirit) and identify the goals and action plans you want to achieve within the next 3, 6, 9, and/or 12 months.

4. Get an accountability buddy. Share your action plan and set-up a weekly meeting with this person to discuss your progress against your plan and goals for the coming week. Be sure to select a buddy that will hold

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your feet to the fire and not let you off the hook!

The key is to 1.) start somewhere, 2.) make your action plans doable, 3.) incorporate the changes into your life in bite-size pieces, 4.) celebrate your successes, and 5.) continue developing in the 4 areas. To quote Marissa, “Caring for yourself will fortify you and give you the energy, clarity, creativity, and strength to succeed with your business.”

Do you or your team members need help moving past your obstacles to individual and organizational growth? If so, please visit the Successful Culture website to learn more about Marissa’s executive coaching services.

YOUR TURN: How do you nurture yourself to help ensure you are the most effective leader possible? Please leave your reply below.


photo credit

Jennifer Brown is the founder of PeopleTactics LLC, she is devoted to helping small business owners implement solutions to prevent Human Resources problems that drain them of their time, money, and energy. Jennifer works with small businesses in order to help them build stronger employee relationships, understand and comply with employment laws, establish policies, and set up easy-to-use HR systems to consistently avoid problems.

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