slidedown

The Six Roots of Healthy Leadership

Grounded by Bob RosenToday’s post is by Bob Rosen, author of Grounded: How Leaders Stay Rooted in an Uncertain World (CLICK HERE to get your copy).

To understand the secret to great leadership, forget everything you’ve been taught until now.  What worked in the past simply won’t cut it anymore.

Until recently, the accepted wisdom has been that leaders should be judged by short-term results. But, we’ve found that, thanks to rapidly changing technological innovation, deepening globalization and an ever-present uncertainty, this perspective hasn’t kept up with the times.

In fact, another, completely different model is necessary, with a new, more personal focus: effective leadership results from deeper internal qualities, not actions. Who you are drives what you do and that, in turn, determines performance.

These qualities—what we call roots—form the foundation of healthy, grounded leadership.  We’ve pinpointed six:

Physical health.  It’s vital for providing the energy and stamina needed to meet the relentless demands of a constantly changing world.  But you also have to understand the complex interconnection between mind and body. And you need to develop an energy management system that allows you to keep going over the long-term.

Emotional health.  A necessity for stopping negative feelings from getting in the way of productive thinking, it helps you stay optimistic, while avoiding getting carried away by enthusiasm.  It requires that you understand your strengths and weaknesses, are comfortable with ambiguity and are able to bounce back when times are difficult.

Intellectual health. This quality involves an intellectual adroitness and deep curiosity, which allows you to weigh quickly changing and potentially contradictory information. It also requires a multi-faceted flexible approach, rather than the usual linear thinking we’re used to.

Social health. Without strong personal connections, no leader can function effectively.  Social health lets you build an environment of trust and a commitment to the organization’s goals. The most important element: authenticity, a consistency and integrity in everything you do, allowing you to build a wide array of mutually beneficial relationships.

Vocational health.  With this quality, you can tap into a meaningful calling reflecting who you are and what you want to be. Vocational health makes it possible to reach your highest potential, setting an example for others about the value of life-long learning. And, it’s essential for developing leadership potential in others.

Spiritual health.  It means serving a larger purpose—one that’s more than meeting organizational goals. That focus lets you get to the heart of the matter, avoiding trivial distractions and building an environment of respect and trust.

Why are these healthy roots so critical? The answer: it’s leaders with these particular qualities who are up to the job, able to take the actions necessary to meet the challenges of today’s world.  For example, they allow leaders to tap into a higher purpose, thereby inspiring their people to feel that they matter, and to forge a shared direction, uniting the organization around a challenging, common goal.  Healthy leaders also are able to unleash human potential, taking the steps to engage their people and encourage them to work to their full potential; to foster productive relationships and connections with others; to seize new opportunities and moving quickly; and to drive ever-higher individual and company performance.

Consider Alan Mulally. When he became CEO of Ford Motor Co. in 2006, the company was in serious trouble.  Drawing on his full complement of healthy roots, from his clear authenticity to his ability to forge strong social connections, he was able to form the One Ford plan, restructuring the company and ensuring that everyone worked together to make it work. Today, Ford is profitable and growing.

In fact, through extensive research, we’ve found that such leaders not only make effective decisions, take the right actions and inspire others around them, but they accomplish something more–significantly out-performing their peers, thereby boosting the organization’s ability to succeed and thrive in a fast-changing, complex environment.

– Bob Rosen is a trusted CEO advisor, organizational psychologist, and author of six books, including The New York Times bestseller Grounded: How Leaders Stay Rooted in an Uncertain World (CLICK HERE to get your copy). His firm, Healthy Companies International, has worked with some of the world’s biggest and best organizations. He has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and many other publications.

Did you enjoy this post?  If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog.  It’s free, fun, practical, and only a couple of emails a week (I promise!).  SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog delivered to your inbox every week!

9 Responses to “The Six Roots of Healthy Leadership”

  1. Annie Tyres says:

    It’s no secret that good leaders are also good communicators. And the best leaders have learned that effective communication is as much about authenticity as the words they speak and write. Indeed, communication and leadership are inextricably tied.

  2. […] With a new, more personal focus, writes Bob Rosen, effective leadership results from deeper internal qualities, not actions. Who you are drives what you do and that, in turn, determines performance. In this article, he looks at the six (6) roots of healthy leadership. Thought Leaders LLC […]

  3. […] Times best-selling author Bob Rosen, argue that great leadership requires being healthy. One of his Six Roots of Healthy Leadership, Rosen says emotional health is a necessity, that leaders need to stop their negative feelings, to […]

  4. […] In today’s complex world, great leadership calls for a new, more-personal model, one that rests on a foundation of six essential qualities or roots.  […]

  5. […] The Six Roots of Healthy Leadership […]

  6. […] best-selling author Bob Rosen, argue that great leadership requires being healthy. One of his Six Roots of Healthy Leadership, Rosen says emotional health is a necessity, that leaders need to stop their negative feelings, to […]

  7. Chante Magruder says:

    Creative article – I was fascinated by the facts , Does someone know where I might be able to access a blank a form document to fill in?

    • Mike Figliuolo says:

      Hi Chante. Not sure. The best recommendation I have is to get the book that the article is based upon or reach out directly to the author at their URL listed in their byline. I hope that helps.

Leave a Reply





  • ©Copyright thoughtLEADERS, LLC. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast in whole or in part without the EXPRESS WRITTEN CONSENT OF thoughtLEADERS, LLC. Content may not be republished, reproduced or distributed in whole or in part without the proper attribution of the work and disclosure of its source including a direct link back to the original content. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content nor can you modify the content in any way. However, you may download material from this website for your personal, noncommercial use only. Links to websites other than those owned by thoughtLEADERS, LLC are offered as a service to readers. thoughtLEADERS, LLC was not involved in their production and is not responsible for their content.

    thoughtLEADERS, LLC has worked to ensure the accuracy of the information included herein. thoughtLEADERS, LLC is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services beyond training, coaching, and consulting. Its reports or articles should not be construed as professional advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. thoughtLEADERS, LLC is not responsible for any claims or losses that may arise from any errors or omissions in our reports or reliance upon any recommendation or advice provided by thoughtLEADERS, LLC.

    thoughtLEADERS, LLC is committed to protecting your privacy. You can read our privacy policy by clicking here.