Executive Vitality™: Getting Your Numbers Right

Executive Vitality™: Getting Your Numbers RightWhy is it that business leaders are so great at keeping track of profit, COGS, EBITDA, stock price, EPS, etc., and yet often don’t focus so much on the metrics for the real engine of success– their bodies? Can leadership effectiveness be achieved if numbers indicating blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, weight, sleep hours, and energy and stress levels are off? After all, isn’t it the body and mind that help achieve the pivotal outcomes in business and in life?

The mind-body connection has been well-recognized for a quarter century or more. Increasingly, researchers are looking at the effects of the body on the mind, for example, The mind-body connection is not a one-way street.

So let’s look at some physical health profit and loss metrics. What is interesting about health measurements is that the same measure can either be considered a revenue or an expense, an asset or a liability, depending on its value. The more your numbers would appear in the “revenue” column, the more executive vitality you enjoy.

Table 1 These values are purely illustrative and not meant to be medical advice! We are not physicians or healthcare professionals; we are executive coaching professionals and, as such, are very interested in the impact of executive vitality generally as well as on business outcomes.

Health Measure Revenue Expense
Blood pressure, e.g. 120/75 mm Hg 155/95 mm Hg
Glucose, e.g. 90 mg/dL 136 mg/dL
HDL, e.g. 54 mg/dL 30 mg/dL
LDL, e.g. 70 mg/dL 150 mg/dL
BMI (body mass index) e.g. 21 30
Sleep e.g. Average 7 to 8 hours/night Average 4 to 6 hours/night
Energy e.g. Feeling good Tired too much
Stress level e.g. Calm Crazed

Do you even know your health P&L numbers?

Most executives (and we) believe there is a profound relationship between health and business outcomes. In a 2014 study by the Health Enhancement Research Organization, 97% of senior executives state that they believe that health significantly influences performance and 91% believe that health significantly influences productivity. In that same study, leaders were asked what business priorities were most influenced by health. In addition to performance and productivity, they listed employee engagement/morale, retention, recruitment, quality, and sustainability.

Further, we believe that the more vitality you have, the more able you are to focus, to achieve, and to enjoy. If you have vitality, you have the exuberance, the physical stamina, and mental and emotional vigor to pursue your vision and mission as well as live the values of your organization. It is your vital force sustaining your success in the demanding roles you have.

Why not become your own profit and loss statement?

What side of the ledger are your health values on? What can you do to move them to the side you want them on?

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