Health! It is the one thing we all strive for, both personally and corporately; to be well – to live well and do well. Health is best defined by a person’s or organization’s ability to produce optimal results. We know instinctively when health is threatened or compromised because in spite of our best efforts, our goals to live and do well are threatened or compromised.
On a personal level, physical health is most important and obvious. But personal health entails much more than just a physical dimension. Consider that to be “healthy”, our physical health must be well-balanced with emotional health, social connectedness, meaningful work and family well-being, while business health depends on inspiring leadership, financial prowess and organizational skills. Languishing in one area impacts the overall health and well-being of the entity. All aspects of personal and corporate health are deeply interconnected, woven together like a tapestry producing a portrait of the “ups and downs” of our journey. And every business ends up being a reflection of the overall health of its individual constituents.
How healthy are you and your business right now?
When any dimension of our health is threatened or compromised, so is our ability to thrive. Today, many of us find our happiness and well-being threatened or compromised by the new reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. Every dimension of personal and corporate health is under assault, and how we respond to it will determine how we heal.
In his excellent book “Good to Great”, Jim Collins found through extensive research that “Great” companies, those that stayed healthy through trying times, possessed three qualities that “Good” companies lacked: 1) disciplined people, with 2) disciplined thinking, making 3) disciplined decisions. For leaders, these three disciplines, when learned and practiced religiously, are the gateway to maintaining personal and corporate health in spite of circumstances, real or perceived.
Such people function outside of established norms. They have learned how to respond to their fears by first taking full ownership of their circumstances, keeping emotions in check while painstakingly assessing the facts. Then, with care and compassion, they help others see and accept the realities too, while plotting a clear way forward, especially when there are no clear answers.
Their view is always future-oriented, moved by sincere hope for better things to come, but balanced with the current reality of the present. These leaders are never content to let the world come to them or ‘wait and see’. They are always preparing for the worst while hoping for the best, and for them, a challenge sparks a disruptive sense of awareness and brings out the best of creativity and innovation!
This discipline is grounded in distinguishing between what is within control and what is not. Disciplined thinkers are strategic thinkers who don’t dwell on what isn’t but rather, on what can be. They not only create plans based on their best intuition, they are willing to test their assumptions and invite others to do so as well.
These are transparent, humble leaders, committed to tapping the best thinking and intellectual capital of those around them. They are also very willing to push well beyond conventional solutions by leveraging their organizations’ core capabilities to serve new market needs, create value and take calculated risks.
Finally, leaders who will prevail through the current (or any) crisis will only be those who take action – in spite of fear! This is the discipline of courage. And yes, courage is a discipline that must be learned and practiced. It is not the absence of fear or despair, but the willingness to move forward despite them. It is disciplined thinking in action; an individual’s capacity to see the big picture, assess the options and move decisively, doing things that are out of the ordinary to produce results that are extraordinary!
In the midst of so many unknowns it is natural to wonder ‘what if?’ What if we don’t make it through? What if we have to reinvent our business to survive? While we won’t win every battle, the war is won with perseverance and unrelenting commitment which are fueled by hope. And ultimately, our greatest source of rest and satisfaction is the knowledge that we fought our best fight; that we stood our ground in spite of our fear, and did everything possible to the extent of our ability, to win.
Even so, the outcomes may often be out of our control. Artist and philosopher Albert Camus noted in his final lecture that “…perhaps there is no other peace for the artist than what he finds in the heat of combat. ‘Every wall is a door,’ Emerson said correctly. Let us not look for the door, and the way out, anywhere but in the wall against which we are living. Instead, let us seek respite where it is – in the very thick of battle.” In this Camus captures a life well lived. To live well and do well, what Aristotle called Eudaimonia, is a function of the disciplines we cultivate and the decisions we make every day, especially when we are under siege.
Though some things may be out of our control, there are a lot of things we can control beginning with an attitude of creative dissatisfaction. No circumstances can defeat you, they can only delay you! Consider that the most inspirational stories and best solutions to complex problems have come at the most stressful times in history. That is not an accident. What you do right now will become, at least in some small way, your destiny and legacy.
It is about how we fight our battles that determines the state of our health!
If you need help, encouragement or support Legacy Business Leaders is here for you. Call anytime at 330.470.1300, or visit us on the web at www.Legacybizleaders.com. We would love to have the opportunity to be a part of your success story!
Wishing you the very best in life and business!
Legacy Business Leaders, LLC
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