Holistic Leadership for the 21st Century

by Paul Peixoto on February 10, 2015

laughTN The bottom line isn’t the bottom line so much these days. More and more business leaders are realizing that there is a better, healthier way to a strong bottom line than just making a mad dash for it.

Bottom-line thinking creates a toxic corporate culture that often strips it of its resources of talent, energy, and creativity (the new currency in the 21st century).

What’s the replacement for bottom line thinking? A more holistic approach, one that’s as much in the moment as well as looking at the end goal. Dare I say it; it’s one that’s focused on the journey rather than the destination. If we focus on the journey—and our health along the way—we’ll arrive at the destination with the energy to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Managers, supervisors, and team leaders who push and push to meet deadlines and quotas are finding that they’re getting diminishing returns for their efforts. Coming out of this recession has been a long, hard struggle for most, and many have been burning the candle at both ends—to the point where most of us are burnt out. Things fall apart, the center cannot hold. Productivity wanes.

Focusing on the journey and our health (mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical) along the way reduces toxic elements within our corporate culture and creates one of balance and productivity.

Focusing on the journey means focusing on how each team member feels about their work and adds that data into the leadership mix.

Focusing on the journey puts the resolution of team member conflict as paramount to the cause of team health and, ultimately, productivity.

Focusing on the journey means treating our team members as whole people not “assets” or “human capital” (a hideous 20th century idea).

If we’re going to get where we want to go with our teams, it’s not going to be by driving them harder. It’s going to be by considering the whole worker—body, mind, and spirit—by taking a more holistic approach to the leading of our team. It’s going to take a different kind of effort on our part as leaders. But that’s the burden of leadership. We’re supposed to be out front, taking the lead, bringing health to our teams so that they can be productive.

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