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The Soul of Leadership™: The Ripple Effect of Leading by Example

Leading by examplewritten by Dr Arien van der Merwe MBChB NHA FRSPH MISMA

As a modern day leader, ask yourself: do I have a meaningful influence on the world around me, what legacy am I leaving my children, community and future generations?

Over the next 10 to 15 years, the world will become increasingly uncertain, volatile and complex. Globally, the leadership challenge is the ability to lead in this world. Resilience, inner core strength and mindfulness are competencies needed for this kind of leadership. True leadership demands vision, understanding, clarity and adaptability to changing demands

Today’s leaders have to believe in, and actively cultivate, transformation not only in their own lives, but also inspire values-driven behaviour in the lives of their employees, their families and the communities around them too. To do this, the leadership team of any company has to actively embrace a wellness lifestyle, which includes not only physical activity, but mental, emotional, spiritual, work-life, family, self-development and social wellbeing too. Great leaders, who’ve experienced first-hand the effects of more energy, health, happiness and inner growth, naturally pay it forward to benefit their workforce. Ultimately, this will improve the bottom line from the top down, by investing in the wellbeing of employees, the true assets of the company.

Wellbeing can be measured

Individual and group wellbeing profiles can be measured via various assessments: from executive medicals, stress and depression questionnaires, to live blood analysis, biochemical screening and brain profiling. According to Hein, ‘cutting edge research has resulted in standardised and validated survey instruments being developed. It allows for employee risk prediction and the proactive management of these for leaders, individuals, teams and areas within an organisation that may need tailor-made solutions.

Certain solutions could provide leadership with insight into the organisational ability to act on strategic intent, by providing data on the psychological and physical capability of the workforce resulting in a range of Organisational Development interventions. Furthermore, competency based assessments could be used to identify specific strengths and areas for further development of managers and leaders in support of their personal growth at a business level’.

A wellness based leadership development program, provides keys to encourage change (identifying health, stress and psychological risk factors) together with the solution to enhance holistic health and wellbeing.

Leading by Example: The Soul of Leadership™
 Cultivating leadership through mindfulness training
Combining the science and mental training of mindfulness, with an understanding of the challenges, complexities, opportunities and responsibilities of today’s leaders
 The Science of Leadership
 Science and optimal brain function
 Mind, brain and consciousness
 The science and art of deep relaxation with practical experience.
 Heart and brain synchronisation resulting in ways to access preferred brain wave ranges using the 3 P’s (practice, patience and perseverance).
 Brain entrainment and resonant frequencies of brainwaves for whole brain functioning
 The effect of negative stress on the brain, heart and immune system
 Neuroscience, new biology and quantum physics
 Epigenetics, DNA activation and EPS (emotional positioning system) process work, tuning into the right brain (and right mind!); thoughts, emotions and resonant brainwave patterns; and a key business tool of the new leader: the heart as brain!
 Enhancing leadership strengths with a salutogenic* approach
Optimal wellbeing and resilience
Leading by Example. Practical, psychological and physical health enhancing tools to manage health challenges in an integrative approach, incorporating physical body, mental-emotional and psycho-spiritual aspects of existence for optimal performance and self-actualisation.

*Wikipedia: Salutogenesis is a term coined by Aaron Antonovsky, professor of medical sociology. The term describes an approach focusing on factors that support human health and wellbeing, rather than on factors that cause disease, depression and unhappiness. More specifically, the ‘salutogenic model’ is concerned with the relationship between health, stress and coping mechanisms.

Summary of Soul of Leadership™ Training outcomes

• Internal milieu management, experience and understanding of own health and wellbeing essential for external milieu dissemination into all spheres of workplace wellness interventions and successful implementation
• Communicating (listening and sharing) with sincerity, open mindedness and clarity regardless of personal and cultural differences
• Overcoming anger, irritability, frustration and irritation: developing ways of correcting the source of the problem and gain lasting control over these emotions
• Encouraging high morale: learning how to turn sources of irritation, frustration and low performance into opportunities for growth, increased energy and performance
• Leading with vision: learning, listening and discussing how to lead by example, establishing optimal relationships, giving and receiving energy, communicating clearly, responding with discernment rather than prejudice, through understanding the seven principles of modern leadership based on values, beliefs and ethical decision making
• Servant leadership: Learn how to build strong relationships and to lead with authentic authority versus autocratic power. Developing and mentoring future leaders
The ripple effect of visionary leadership culture on all employees, extending into family, community and social groups (in line with Social Responsibility part of triple bottom line reporting of the Companies Act of 2011)

Holistic leadership wellbeing works on many different levels. To achieve optimal results, a program needs to work on all levels: physical, mental, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, social and personal.

Working at soul level through mindfulness, enhances the ability to find the true solutions within.