How to be a Healthier, More Effective Leader

Mar 24, 2017Padraig's Insights

‘Mens sana in corpore sana’


I was chatting to a client the other day and he had lost 11 kilos in 6/8 weeks, which is really quite remarkable. He lost it by cutting out bread and getting a personal trainer.

We were talking about the effect it was having on his performance.

I’ve been a long time believer in the Latin phrase ‘mens sana in corpore sana’, meaning a sane mind in a healthy body.

The impact of a healthy body on your mind is incredible. He remarked to me that as the kilos came off his energy and his desire to change went up.

The very fact that he was in my office talking about what he wants to do with his company was a result of this health programme that he embarked on.

As he started to get into good physical shape he wanted to get his mind, his relationships and his business into shape too.

Think about this notion of mens sana in corpore sana. If you improve one everything improves.


A Letter to Garcia


I’m sure you’re probably fed up at this stage of me talking about Verne Harnish’s ‘People, Strategy, Execution and Cash’, but it’s interesting.

The other day I had a great meeting with a prospect.

I was writing up a memo for him afterwards and I realised something.

What we’re proposing to do for this new client is the exact same as what we’re doing for another client.

Then I realised that it’s what we do for pretty much all our clients. They all seem to be struggling with the same things.

The first is people. Specifically the struggle they seem to have is getting the right people.

They keep talking about leadership, about people who take ownership and have a sense of urgency.

There’s a great story about a man who took a letter to Garcia. He did whatever it took to get the letter to him.

My clients are looking for people who self-manage and who do whatever it takes to deliver.

Dan Sullivan used to talk about the 4 keys of referability: show up on time, do what you said you’d do, finish what you start and say please and thank you.

But this thing of tenacity, of reliability, of perseverance, of urgency I think is critical. It’s all about personal accountability.

Being able to lead yourself is a key element of leadership.

Every time I talk to a client it comes across as one of the biggest problems they have – finding people who are accountable, who are reliable and who self-manage.

Again, strategy, execution and cash are key areas, but that seems to me to be the critical area, and one that’s becoming more critical as time goes on.


If you don’t know yourself, how can you lead others?


I watched a YouTube video recently that I really loved, by a guy called Justin Foster. He’s a brand specialist who talks about the Science of Self.

He has a very simple thesis, which is that everything is directed by human beings and branding today is the convergence of leadership, innovation and experience all driven by human beings.

If you don’t know yourself you can’t lead others and you can’t develop a brand.

Most brand problems in fact are coming from leadership problems.

He asked a great question: if you could turn a dial to improve your self knowledge and self respect, what would that do for your relationships, your work and your business?

I strongly recommend watching this video. It’s a great clip – enjoy!


What questions are you asking yourself?


I’ve mentioned this before, but I get a blog every Sunday from Philip Humbert.

In this week’s blog he made a point that I believe in very strongly. It really resonated with me so I’d like to share it with you.

He talks about questions – the questions we ask ourselves, the answers we give ourselves and what they lead to.

He’s of the view that really successful people ask themselves really good questions and unsuccessful people ask themselves really dumb questions.

He gives examples of dumb questions, such as ‘why me?’, ‘why is life so hard?’, ‘why do I always do this?’ and so forth.

He compares this to successful people who might ask themselves, ‘what am I grateful for?’, ‘What can I learn from this?’, ‘What one thing can I do right now that will help me move forward towards my goals?’, ‘What’s the most important, life-enhancing thing I can do today?’

If you ask yourself questions like these, what follows? Well, what follows is answers!

And what follows the answer is action.

He makes the point that if you ask yourself particular questions it leads you to action.

Successful people marshal the resources that are necessary to execute on these questions. Think about the kind of questions you’re asking yourself.


Finally, work less, have more and be happy!


I’ve mentioned Philip Humbert before. I found his blog last week to be absolutely amazing.

He said the following: ‘Work less, have more, be happy’. This is what we all want.

His answer to this was: choose two! In general you have to make a choice.

We live in a world in which there are many choices, and too often we say yes to everything! We want it all, but we can’t have it all.

We end up overworked and experience stress. We’ve been led to believe that we can have everything but it’s an illusion.

It seems to be that successful people are good at making choices and prioritizing.

Here are Philip Humbert’s solutions. You can have anything you choose but not everything you want.

He who finishes happiest wins. I think that what he’s saying is to consider what will make you truly happy.

Most people don’t know what they really want. Or if they do, they will often experience a lot of peer pressure to do other things anyway.

Happiness comes from clarity. It comes from deciding who you are and what you want to accomplish. With that clarity you must do those things that will actually bring you satisfaction.

In summary ‘work less, have more, be happy’! Choose wisely.


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Discover Your Leadership Style TODAY!

  • First step to being a leader is knowing yourself. If you don’t understand yourself how can you understand others? Learn to understand others better.
  • Learn what your true behaviours and driving forces are.
  • Identify what leadership competencies you are strong in and where you can improve.



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