Wellness in Leadership: 3 Essentials for Executives

Feb 26, 2024

“Leadership excellence is not about being in charge, it’s about taking care of the people in your charge.”
– Simon Sinek

Executive Wellness has finally been recognized as the most important challenge in determining sustained leadership excellence in work and life. But what is executive wellness? For clarity’s sake, imagine yourself as a high-powered car. To perform at your best, you need three things: top-notch fuel (physical wellness), smooth handling (emotional wellness), and a well-maintained engine (systemic wellness). Believe it or not, it is as simple as that.

Let’s delve into these three pillars of executive wellness together. I’ll guide you through understanding how to tap into your full potential and steer clear of the pitfalls that can lead to burnout.

Physical Wellness: Your Body Matters

Physical wellness is an everyday choice that includes:

    • Ergonomic Workspaces: In many countries today, minimum physical work safety factors factor in ergonomic and disability issues apart from working hours and hazardous conditions. Workspaces should be designed for comfort, whether it’s at home, the office, or even school. Think standing desks, comfortable chairs, and good lighting, taking into account the emerging future of mobile and wearable digital devices.
    • Mind-Body Fitness: Yoga, meditation, and other such practices are powerful tools to combat stress and anxiety. Investing in holistic wellness is a sure-shot step to ensure sustained leadership excellence.
    • Fuel for Performance: Access to affordable and healthy meals that boost brainpower and energy levels is another important factor.

Emotional Wellness: Master Your Mind

Emotional wellness, for the most part, is within the locus of individual control.

    • Taking Charge of our Minds: However much we may like to pass the blame to others, our mental wellness is within our control. Stop blaming others for your stress – you have the power to choose how you react to situations.
    • Emotional Intelligence is Key: Learn to understand and manage your emotions, and those of others. This superpower is crucial for navigating the ups and downs of leadership.
    • Work-Life Balance: Though work-life balance has become a favorite whipping post to allocate blame, you make the choices that shape your life. Stop feeling guilty about work or personal time – find ways to integrate them in a way that works for you.

Systemic Wellness: Building a Better Workplace

Systemic wellness is essential to creating a thriving workplace and must include:

Spiritual Wellness: The Secret Sauce

Systemic spiritual wellness is perhaps a word I am inventing as I rarely see it used in this context. Systemic Spiritual Wellness is about a positive work climate that individuals, their teams, and the organization create jointly. This includes:

    • Treating Everyone with Respect: Kindness and empathy are the true keys to a healthy workplace. Create a space where everyone feels safe and appreciated.
    • Go Beyond Yourself: Spiritual intelligence isn’t about religion – it’s about seeing others as equals and having compassion for everyone around you.
    • Humility and Gratitude: Let go of ego and embrace humility. Be grateful for your opportunities and learn from your mistakes.

Leadership with a Heart:

The best leaders are also the most caring. By incorporating these wellness principles into your organization, you’ll create an environment where people thrive and achieve leadership excellence.

    • Physical wellness: Yoga, meditation, healthy eating.
    • Emotional wellness: Emotional intelligence, self-awareness, work-life balance.
    • Systemic wellness: Collaboration, open communication, meaningful work.
    • Spiritual wellness: Respect, empathy, humility, gratitude.

Embrace these practices, coach yourself and others, and together, we can build workplaces and communities that are good for our minds, bodies, and souls.

Let’s heal ourselves, heal our planet, and create a brighter future for generations to come.

(Originally published on Coaching the Spirit – a LinkedIn Newsletter by Ram S. Ramanathan: 3 Critical Executive Wellness Factors)

Ram Ramanathan, MCC
Ram Ramanathan, MCC


Ram is the Founder and a Principal at Coacharya. As the resident Master and mentor coach, Ram oversees and conducts all aspects of coaching and training services offered under the Coacharya banner.

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