Leadership is a hard job. You know how stressful it is… never-ending deadlines, people demands, constant changes. It must hazardous to your health!
But, is it really harming your health? Well, turns out, that’s your choice, actually.
Genetics aside, lifestyle choices play a huge role in determining longevity. Researchers on The Longevity Project found that people who do these things are destined to live long:
Connect with others.
Associate with healthy people.
Develop healthy habits.
Stay physically active throughout life.
Worry, but moderately throughout life (not the Chicken Little variety).
All of the above behaviors require sustained positive energy. Healthy people know what depletes their positive energy and what replenishes it. And they take the actions necessary to keep their store of energy balanced properly.
Learning how to keep the right amount of positive energy in your work and personal life is key to being a healthy leader. Your positive energy determines how you make decisions and how you interact with others during the day. How you look at change, how you bounce back from mistakes, how you handle people, how you refresh and rejuvenate yourself are indicators of whether or not you are properly maintaining your productive energy. Knowing when to push forward or pull back to rejuvenate yourself is really a function of knowing yourself well and attending to your energy management.
“People need time for renewal, especially hard-charging leaders. Rejuvenation alters our brain patterns so our minds, hearts and bodies can refresh and reinvigorate themselves. Without this renewal, you are unable to bolster your immune system, readjust your routines, maintain your productive energy, or adapt to life’s changing conditions.”
Excerpt from Bob Rosen’s book, Grounded: how leaders stay rooted in an uncertain world.
Do Leaders Live Longer?
So back to the question: Do leaders live longer?
The answer is – for those leaders who effectively manage their mental and physical energy. In the long run, keeping things tuned to the middle way will keep you healthy and productive.
Think about your own personal and work life and ask yourself:
Do I have a peak performance lifestyle? Am I getting the exercise and diet needed to sustain healthy leadership in my organization?
Am I aware of the body/mind connection? Do I make decisions from both my head and my heart?
Have I calibrated an energy management system for myself? Do I know what drains me? What energizes me?