Maintain a fitness regimen as a key leadership trait
I’m not talking about running a house or running an office, although I run them too. I’m talking about physical racing. Three or four times a week, I get up at an odd hour in the morning, put on my running gear and hit the road. Not because it’s the only time you can run, but because it’s the time I got used to. Not because it’s the only physical exercise you can do, but because it’s the one I chose.
It’s not a walk in the park though. Every runner I’ve interacted with, especially early morning riders like me, agrees that the hardest part of every race is the start. The stress of stemming the irritation caused by the sound of the morning alarm penetrating his last morning dreams, the excruciating pain of waking up and getting out of a warm bed early in the morning, the stealthy art of dressing in the dark and sneaking out of the house so as not to wake the rest of the house, all combine to create an experience that only diehards are willing to endure over and over again.
So why do we do it? Amateur runners are drawn to habit addiction because of the adrenaline rush one feels after the run is over. It is a feeling that is not easy to describe, but rather has to be experienced to be understood. It’s the same feeling that athletes get after a dose of their favorite sport. Despite the stress of breaking through inertia and the great feelings that come with it, I believe there are inherent leadership benefits to be gained from maintaining a good exercise regimen.
For starters, most psychologists agree that physical and mental fitness are closely correlated. As such, maintaining a physically fit body ensures that one stays alert for longer periods of the day than they would otherwise. Since decision making happens at all hours of the 24 hour day, one wants to be sure that if called upon to make a critical decision after a long day, the outcome will be well thought out and rational. Plus, because you stay alert for longer periods of the day, your concentration levels also stay high for longer periods, so you’re still able to be creative and logically understand complex things long after. the end of the working day. To add to this, maintaining an exercise routine helps improve physical appearance and, as evidenced by the confidence with which professional athletes perform in front of huge crowds regardless of their trade, looks good. physical is a major self-confidence. booster which in itself is one of the most needed tools in the leadership toolbox.
The above talks about improving a leader’s productivity through maintaining physical fitness. However, by far the greatest benefit of leadership lies in the impact the leader’s actions leave on those they lead and those who are inspired by them. Behavioral scientists agree that, on the whole, people imitate the actions of those who lead them. Their learned behaviors are shaped by the behaviors they see their leaders portray. If their leaders are angry and quick with themselves and others, they too will be angry and quick with their own teams. If their leaders do not pay much attention to keeping time and the virtues of keeping promises, they will inherit the same tendencies. Thus, leaders who pay attention to their physical appearance by maintaining physical exercise routines will in turn “provide” their followers with the same habits. This will have a downward spiral effect, as their followers will in turn inspire others to do the same, which will ultimately result in positive overall productivity. This “mimicry” links both backwards and forwards to the leader because they too benefit from it, as evidenced by their leadership styles. Leaders who follow strict physical exercise routines tend to favor coaching and pacing leadership styles. Indeed, while they strive to improve in the mode of physical exercise they have chosen, they tend to admire others better than they are in training exercise and to set personal goals that they aspire to achieve, exposing themselves to coaching and pace-setting, practices that they then transform into their own leadership styles.
So I would say the leadership benefits of maintaining physical fitness outweigh the initial pain and difficulty. For this reason, I intend to keep running for as long as physically possible, and if you haven’t already, I encourage you to go ahead, get out of bed and break that sweat in the physical practice you have chosen. Hope we meet on the road soon.
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