As I sit here writing this, I am in a hotel in Sydney. The back end of a four-day trip which landed me in Brisbane for three days and Sydney for one day. Fortunate to be able to connect with some amazing humans across a variety of businesses. I ran two workshops whilst on this road trip and, was blown away by the desire to adopt change from everyone. Each person took something away and has set the goal and commitment to implement and adopt change.
Why am I telling you this? Well, it’s because what excites me is the generational shift in leadership. Leadership that is supportive of growth within the team and across areas other than just their technical knowledge. Talking to the GM’s, the conversations began to feel very similar. It was the desire to:
- Support their team professionally through offering courses and education options that will see them progress inside the organisation and even out. Yep, leadership today acknowledges that people will not stay with you forever, but invest in them, show them your genuine desire to see them grow and evolve and you will hang onto them a lot longer.
- Support their team with building a culture that respects openness, honesty, collaboration, and connection. A fun team culture, but a culture of getting the hard tasks done!
- Support each and every person, irrespective of their role in the business, in improving their health and wellbeing. Acknowledging that life is hard right now. Personally, and professionally. People are stressed! Leadership today is making a genuine investment in the tools and resources for the team, to better equip them with what they need to remain focused, energised, driven and manage those feelings of stress & anxiety.
I am 42 years old and many of the GM’s I spoke with were the same age. Again, generational shift in leadership. We told stories of when we began in our respective careers and how when faced with a challenge, a difficult situation, a stressful event, we were effectively told to simply ‘harden up’ and ‘get on with it’. The reward being food and excessive alcohol on a Friday. This mindset is dying out! This world promoted burnout, illness, and poor health (knowingly or unknowingly). I would argue it also resulted in the quality of work never being at its best.
But what else is achieved by investing in a teams ‘health & wellbeing’? They are building the teams resilience.
To me, the three key components of health & wellbeing that build resilience:
- Fitness: Actively encourage people to not just move but do something that challenges them. A style of movement that pushes them out of their comfort zone such as HIIT training, long distance runs, martial arts etc. We tend to sit in a place of comfort that not only reduces the physical benefits of training, but it reduces the mental benefits of training. Overcoming the head talk and physical discomfort tells you that you are capable of more than you are aware of.
- Fasting: By simply restricting our eating window on a set number of days in the week, takes mental strength. The temptation is to just go and grab a snack or something to eat. Rather than perhaps waiting the 30 minutes or 1 hour (as an example), until the fasting window is up. Push through this ‘hunger’ mentally and challenge the body to adapt.
- Breath work/Meditation: In the early stages of adoption, breath work and meditation seem like they would be easy right? Well, not always. With meditation you may need to fight the head chatter and constantly be mentally strong enough to pull yourself back in and re-focus on your breath or mantra. So many just give up and say it was a ‘bad meditation today’. With breath work it is about relaxing into the breath holds and fighting the desire to stop the hold and return to an in or out breath. Remaining focused and in control is key.
This translates to being able to better handle those difficult situations at work (and in day-to-day life) when they arise. The difficult client, the error made in a report or presentation, the problem that just seems unsolvable, the change of deadline, the challenging child or flat car battery etc. These moments can either derail us and destroy the momentum or the day, or the challenge can be addressed with a clear a logical mindset, a solution determined and the problem overcome. Resilience comes through ‘getting comfortable with the uncomfortable’.
So what work environment are you building for your team, or work environment are you operating in?