The Branches of Healthy Leadership

Posted Thursday, May 23, 2013

Allen Slade

I like to think of leadership as a tree. For the tree to bear fruit, you need healthy roots and healthy branches.

Tree with Roots

The roots of leadership are who you are as a leader. Unhealthy roots will stunt the branches and diminish the fruit. In my series of posts on The Healthy Leader® model (from Bob Rosen of Healthy Companies International), we have considered six roots of healthy leadership:

  1. The leader’s physical health
  2. The leader’s emotional health
  3. The leader’s intellectual health
  4. The leader’s social health
  5. The leader’s vocational health
  6. The leader’s spiritual health

Today, let’s look at six branches of healthy leadership – the effective leadership behavior that generates positive outcomes for the organization.

Healthy Leader Value PropositionModified from an image courtesy of Healthy Companies Inc.

Tap into a Higher Purpose

Healthy leaders awaken passion in others. They help their team unite around a common purpose and focus on shared values. They help others have intense pride for the organization.

Forge a Shared Direction

Healthy leaders forge a shared direction with inspiring goals that are owned by the team. They communicate a clear roadmap for success. They align efforts through ownership of broader organizational goals

Foster Productive Relationships

Healthy leaders create productive work relationships for themselves. Healthy leaders model authenticity and generosity. They welcome diversity and competing points of view. They also create an open and productive work environment to help others create productive relationships.

Unleash Human Energy

Healthy leaders are the spark plug that ignites the energy of others. They appreciate individuals. They encourage others to contribute their best self every day, and they recognize their individual contributions. They help map out clear paths for future growth, then they provide challenging roles and stimulating learning opportunities.

Seize New Opportunities

Healthy leaders focus on value creation. They help their team leverage assets to reach goals. They help their team anticipate market moves and capitalize on growth opportunities. And they help their team recover quickly from mistakes.

Drive High Performance

Healthy leaders focus on meeting commitments. They help their team do whatever it takes to consistently get the job done. They empower people to succeed, they measure what matters and they reward success.

Bottom line: If your leadership is a tree, how healthy are the branches? Would your team say that you engage in these healthy leadership behaviors? If not, you may need to enrich your leadership: Tap into a higher purpose. Forge a shared direction. Foster productive relationships. Unleash human energy. Seize new opportunities. Drive high performance.

But be wise. Your behavior flows from who you are. If the branches are not healthy, you may need to look to the roots of healthy leadership first.

What’s your next step? If you are a leader or executive, Slade & Associates can help assess the health of your leadership. We can also provide executive coaching and leadership coaching for individuals who want to enhance who you are and what you do.

If you are a senior executive or a leadership development professional, we can help assess leadership across your organization. Then, working as your partner, we can create customized leadership development programs and coaching systems to make a difference for your leaders.

Whatever your situation, strive for healthy roots and branches to make your leadership fruitful.


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