Healthy Leaders Are Great Leaders
Eve reached out to me a few weeks ago interested in guest posting on leadership. I was more than happy to oblige. Check out her incredible take on health and productivity!
The modern world is increasingly doing studies on the link between health and productivity. That is hardly a new concept. The phrase “A sound mind in a sound body” is quite old. In general, we all know that if you are sick, in pain, or under the weather, you will not be at your most productive. But what seems to not sink in is the idea that if you really want to excel at sales or in leadership, you really need to be working towards optimal health, not merely avoiding sickness.
Instead of talking in generalities, let’s take one person as an example. Let’s talk about actor, producer, and businessman Will Smith. He has made Fortune’s “40 Under 40″ list. He is the first actor to have eight movies in a row bring in more than $100 million. He came from nothing and is now worth millions. He is viewed by many as an inspiration and role model for minorities. His list of personal accomplishments is quite long.
Focus on Will Smith
Will Smith has said “The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period. You might be more talented than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple, right? You’re not going to out-work me. It’s such a simple, basic concept. The guy who is willing to hustle the most is going to be the guy who just gets that loose ball. The majority of people who aren’t getting the places they want or aren’t achieving the things that they want in this business is strictly based on hustle. It’s strictly based on being out-worked; it’s strictly based on missing crucial opportunities. I say all the time if you stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready.”
More than an actor
As indicated above, everyone likely realizes that Will Smith is not just an actor but he is a leader in many ways: A producer, founder of I’m more than one company, community leader and so on. If you have ever seen him work the crowd at a red carpet event, you should realize he is also a consummate salesman. That is part of why his movies make so much money. So when he talks about hustle, he doesn’t just mean “work hard.” He also means you need to sell yourself. Constantly.
What may not be obvious is that in order to have the attitude he has, the first thing he needs is the physical stamina necessary to run you into the ground or die trying. If you have seen him in “I am Legend”, a movie filmed in his late thirties, you have seen with your own eyes the kind of phenomenal fitness he has. Similarly, he trained for months to put on the muscle necessary to portray legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. People who are not super healthy don’t do things like that. They simply can’t.
Health and fitness
So if you want to be a great sales person or leader, you first need to be the best that you can be. And that starts with being as healthy and fit as possible so you have the physical energy and mental focus to out-work others, to recognize opportunity when it presents itself and quickly take action, and to be as presentable and attractive as possible. The reality is that both sales and leadership are about influencing other people. Someone who is healthy and fit is far more personable than someone who is not.
Think about this: Shaking hands is a basic symbol of both friendliness and deal-making. People have to touch you to shake your hand. No one wants that if you are ill. Even if you are in good health generally but know there is room for improvement it can be a good idea to take a medical test to highlight where best to prioritize, be it diet or fitness levels. A routine lab test can highlight any problems or deficiencies you may have meaning you can take measures to address these under the advice of a medical professional.
So get cracking. Watch what you eat. Take your vitamins. Hit the gym. Get on that treadmill. Make sure you are healthy enough to be the last one to get off it when you are up against the competition. In other words: Every day.
If you are interested in having Eve guest post on your blog or website she can be emailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org