7 Healthy Leadership Tips by Maria Dorfner


1.  MOTIVATE.  If you’re a leader and hold morning meetings with your team, this is no time for pointing out what people do wrong. Morning meetings should be cheerleading sessions to point out everything your team is doing right, asking them to do more of THAT. If you want your team to be their most productive and make the most sales –you send them out on a high note. There’s a reason production teams have “POST-mortem” meetings.  You ask what went wrong AFTER and get input from the team on what can be done differently the next day to avoid it happening again.  Post, not PRE.  Remember the “M” for Motivate each Morning!


2.  GATHER INPUT.  As a leader, you get your best input from brains in the trenches.  Oftentimes, these people are at the bottom of the totem pole, being paid the least.  But they’re on the firing lines.  If you want your company to avoid a bullet, these are the folks you need to talk to the most.  They know best what’s really going on.  If you’re only talking to people in the Ivory Tower, you’re out of touch. As a leader, you’ll be asked to make recommendations for change. If you’re out of touch, your recommended changes will end up costing the company money in the long-run.  Get feedback on what works from people on the front lines.


3.  RESPECT. Never dismiss or talk down to the people at the bottom of the totem pole.  That means if a dog is on your team, you best treat that dog with the utmost respect.  Today, many of these individuals are college-educated with the potential to be great leaders themselves one day.  Healthy leaders treat Interns and the CEO with the same respect.  I’ve seen leaders who walk through a company and avoid eye contact with anyone who isn’t the CEO.   I’ve also seen leaders who smile, address Interns by name and treat them with the same respect. Guess which leader is healthy and was once an intern himself?  The way to grow respectful leaders in your organization is by being one yourself.  If you’re a CEO and want to know if someone you placed in a leadership position is respecting the troops –ask the troops.  Authenticity can’t be faked.  The reason this is important is I’ve never seen someone who is disrespected ask, “How high?” when asked to jump for that company –your company.


4.  EXERCISE.  People spend a majority of time at the office.  As a healthy leader, ask yourself how you keep your team healthy. By now, your company should have an employee fitness plan in place that is practical.  That means it fits into employee’s daily schedules. Does your company have an in-house gym that employees can utilize?  It’s one of the best investments you can make in assuring your people stay fit and productive in mind and body.  If not, is there an incentive in place like a discount at a local gym that your company can offer employees?  If so, are they given the time to actually use it?  Studies have proven that people’s brains are at their PEAK performance 45 minutes into exercise, even if it’s just walking.  As a leader, you want peak performers on your team. It benefits them. It benefits you.



5.  NUTRITION.  Does your company have a cafeteria?  If so, what are you selling there?  Review the food and beverages you’re selling at your company or in your company vending machines.  You can’t have a healthy workforce if you’re selling sugar, processed foods and death in your place of business.  Don’t believe healthy won’t sell.  That’s the biggest fallacy ever.  Everyone wants to be healthy, feel better and look better from the inside out.  Don’t believe placing one salad that tastes like cardboard is giving your employees a healthy choice.  There are delicious, nutritious adult and kids food and beverages worth exploring to replace the bad.


6.  COMMUNICATION.  Healthy leadership involves healthy communication.  If you’re in a leadership position, take time to get to know people on your team.  Just because Sally or Sam took a job in retail doesn’t mean that’s where their skills or talents best suit the company.  Many people take jobs as a foot in the door to a company OR because it’s the only opening at the time they applied there. When you communicate with people, you may learn Sam is an expert in graphics or Sally is an expert in marketing.  I once consulted with a large company and was told their PR and Marketing departments were underperforming.  I was given permission to “fire ’em all.”  When I talked to each employee individually, I learned each person was merely in the wrong position, i.e. a writer was fixing computers and so forth.  When I moved people around (at no cost to the company) –performance soared through the roof.  People excel when they get to utilize their skills. Once you learn of s person’s skillset, help develop them by giving them the right tools to do the best job.  Then, get out of their way.  Unhealthy leaders think if they shine the spotlight on someone else’s skills, it will take away from their own. That’s the sign of an insecure, unhealthy leader.  Healthy leaders LOVE to shine the spotlight on others because they’re secure in their own worth.  Healthy leaders create winning teams. They may lose a few battles, but these are the teams committed to winning the war. Commit to good health each day.  That one choice can make or break an individual or team.



7.  BALANCE.  Healthy leaders create balance in mind, body, spirit.  They learn the hard way that not making time for one area will affect performance in another area.  Balance includes making time for family, friends and nature.  Yes, nature. It replenishes the soul and inspires creativity and ideas.  A healthy leader can adjust schedules so “burnout” doesn’t happen.  Even a car needs to stop to refuel.  A human being isn’t an inanimate object. It needs to be nourished in mind, body and spirit because we’ve already seen how costly sickness is to companies and the economy. Making balance a part of your company culture is the smart, healthy choice. It prevent illness, burnout and keeps your team at their competitive best maximizing their time so they achieve more in less time.  A healthy leader figures out when maximum productivity or sales occur in their company and allows employees flexibility in their schedule once that max is reached.


leadership2                                                “Your company is only as healthy as your leadership.”  ~Maria Dorfner


headshot  About the Author:  MARIA DORFNER is the founder of of MedCrunch and NewsMD Communications, LLC. She is the recipient of an Outstanding Leadership Abilities award from the National Association of Female Executives (NAFE), Women in Corporate America (WICA) and her alma mater, Pace University in New York City. She began her career as a respected Intern at NBC NEWS in New York City.

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