What if you were in better shape? Would it have an impact on the kind of leader you want to be? Would you work longer and harder? Would you make better decisions at the end of the day? Would you stick with some of your initiatives longer?
In The Leadership Factor, Kotter identifies traits that we have had since we were children that may have an impact on what kind of leader we are now and what kind of leader we’re going to turn out to be. His view is that these traits are shaped by our education, the exposure that we have to different leaders, and our career experiences, whether they’re trial-and-error experiences or learnings from formal training programs.
The very first trait Kotter presents is “drive and energy level.” Kotter says a leader needs this trait to deal with the difficulties of producing change over a long period of time. Drive keeps a leader focused on the finish line, while energy is the modality to reach that goal. I worked with entrepreneurs in a previous role as an advisory board member at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), bwtech@UMBC Research & Technology Park, and one thing these entrepreneurs have more than everybody else is drive and energy. They can generally see the finish line and outwork anybody, plus they have a tenacity that helps them make things happen, no matter the challenges they face.
Juilan Hayes’s article in Entrepreneur suggest that “entrepreneurs have a tendency to lose focus and place their health on the back burner in pursuit of achieving profits.” Beyond the obvious of getting more sleep and eating better, he challenges all of us to “prepare” for workouts, just as we would prepare for sales calls and meetings. Finally, the “drive” that pushes you to meet every customer commitment can also be repurposed to consistently meet more of your fitness goals.
So will you become a better leader by increasing your fitness level? There seems to be no downside in giving it a shot!