Why articles about Leadership Traits may be failing us.

It seems lately the Top Ten or Top Fifteen lists of how to lead have had very similar themes. Forbes list and Dave Kerpen’s list are both great examples of traits and qualities leaders strive to adopt or maintain.

It is fascinating that these lists, as well as most I have seen, seem to forget the most important aspect of leadership, good health and how to create a healthy environment.

So here is a list of  five ways to consider staying well with a sincere focus on building your immune system. Surely we can all agree, the stronger our immune system, the better our chances to fight illness?  Surely we can all agree, a strong immune system is PREVENTION and begins with each of us as we  “lead” those around us to also engage in healthier  lifestyle changes.

1) Clean up your indoor air quality at home and at work. Do some research about the harsh chemicals you are exposed to daily and their effects.

2) Now that you have cleaner air, take time to breathe and feel your breathe. Believe it or not, when we forget to breathe we store stress.

3) Do not diet. Chances are, it took years to gain weight. Why would we believe 21 days can turn us back to body perfect? A diet by definition is all about what we eat. So how about you begin by reading the labels of the products you are eating. If you can not pronounce an ingredient, you probably do not want to eat it. Engineered foods are worth your own personal investigation time. Try and buy what you will actually eat. More fresh foods and less processed foods is the simplest lifestyle change for long term health gains and the choices will enrich your daily diet.

4) MOVE. Just get up right now and walk ten minutes. Walk up one flight of stairs. With each step, remember there is someone in a hospital that will never walk again.

5) Practice Gratitude as often as possible. When you eat, breathe, and move, be mindful and grateful, for many do not have these gifts.

If you are already a leader in your home, community or work, and you are not healthy, what are you really teaching those around you? No, I am not licensed to practice medicine, but after years of athletics, surgeries and watching those around me struggle with disease, research has led me to believe it is MUCH easier to stay well, than get well.

This post is dedicated to my friends and the HR Team we are working with who had  health scares and chose to get well and stay well. You are making Lifestyle Changes and are still the life of any party. You understand and live a life of balance and moderation. You understand wellness is not a huge expense, rather it saves money. So at the top of any list, be it Leadership or not, please let’s focus on what counts, WELLNESS. If you are well, you can lead.

So get well and stay well. The better you feel, the more you like feeling better. And please, let’s put wellness at the top of any personal or professional leadership list going forward.

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