It doesn’t matter how much business sense you have; if your heart is about to give out, no one wants you in charge of his or her company. Kevin Harrington, one of the original members of Shark Tank, proudly boasted in his interview with Mike Dillard on the Self Made Man podcast.
“I’m the same weight now as I was when I graduated high school. I think that having a physically fit body also adds to a good mental state.”
Not on its own, no, but the overall health of a businessperson has a lot to do with their approach and success in business.
Healthy entrepreneurs are not only perceived as more capable leaders, but they also understand how to balance personal needs with the needs of their companies.
Are Healthy Diet and Lifestyle Really Related to Work?
Of course! A healthy, well-cared-for body is just as related to your work life as it is to your personal life. People who eat healthy, regular meals and maintain their muscle strength have more energy for problem solving and creativity than people who struggle with their weight, stop for fast-food whenever they find a spare minute and don’t get enough sleep. It’s really that simple.
In concrete terms, studies have found that healthy employees cost their companies an average of 4.1 lost hours each week due to sick leave and short-term disability. Employees with three or more health risks (smoking habit, overweight, no exercise regime, etc.) cost companies 1.5 more hours per week.
Your meals also have a direct influence on your productivity. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Food has a direct impact on our cognitive performance, which is why a poor decision at lunch can derail an entire afternoon.”
Unfortunately, when you’ve been working all morning and putting off your midday meal, the quickest option will usually catch your eye.
French fries and hamburgers seem like just the fuel your body and mind need when you’re low on energy, but they don’t have enough nutrients in them to keep your brain performing the way you’d prefer.
“I had a bout where I was eating too much, drinking wine and putting on weight. About 10 years ago, I made the decision that I wanted to live a long time.” These days, Kevin says, “I don’t drink alcohol; I work out a couple days a week; I watch what I eat; I get a good night’s sleep.”
A Healthy Business Leader Leads by Example
Forbes says that a great leader has “deep reserves of … energy and that energy is usually fueled by … a healthy lifestyle.” Keeping yourself fit and healthy shows your employees and partners that you realize there are other important facets of your life besides work.
“My wife asks me, ‘How do you wake up in the morning and just jump out of bed?”
He says it has everything to do with keeping track of your physical and mental condition, and loving what you do. “I get up every morning, and I’m looking forward to the day.” As a leader, it’s important that you show enthusiasm for your company and your work because it motivates everyone around you.
According to human resources expert Susan M. Heathfield, the most important resources that managers can use to motivate their staff are personal relationships.
Personal Health Is Vital for a Healthy Business
…“If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” These words stuck with Kevin while he made the decision to get in shape and take care of himself for the sake of his personal and entrepreneurial future.
Staying healthy should not only be a primary concern for all business owners and CEOs who want to create healthy businesses; it is also a necessity when it comes to employee loyalty and motivation.
The Center for Creative Leadership conducted research that confirmed CEOs and top-level managers who were overweight were not perceived as highly effective in the workplace. Barry Posner, a leadership professor at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business, says, “We have stereotypes about fat,” he adds, “so when we see a senior executive who’s overweight, our initial reaction isn’t positive.”
Healthy entrepreneurs are perceived as effective, motivated leaders, and they are also more energetic and enthusiastic for the workday. Kevin Harrington knows the value of leading a healthy lifestyle for the sake of his business and his personal life, and advises other business owners to look out for their health as well.
Success in business is tied to success in personal life and health is the obvious way for people to gauge your rate of personal achievement.