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The poor wellbeing of leaders is having a devastating impact on financial services

Jun 15, 2021
stressed out leader

Being a leader in the financial services is hard. Tasked with solving problems, meeting ever-changing regulation, managing relationships, thinking critically, quickly and creatively, making monumental decisions, being persistent, ambitious and dedicated, leaders must model the behaviours they want to see.

Pre-Covid, leaders were generally rubbish at taking time off, switching off at the end of the day, even taking a lunch break. Stressed, poor eating habits, always ‘on’, disrupted sleep, late nights, early starts, drinking, smoking, burning the candle at both ends. Then throw in a global pandemic.

Across the industry, leaders and execs shoulder huge responsibilities and face insurmountable challenges in their roles, many of which have been magnified in the past 15 months. Because, in times of crises, leaders put themselves last. And over the past year, financial services leaders have certainly stepped up, doing everything in their power to support their teams, with 87% of them deeming employee mental health as a priority.

But at what cost to their own?

While I am obviously a huge advocate for employee wellbeing, my worry is that leaders aren’t walking the talk. And unhealthy, rundown leaders and execs have a devastating impact across the business from both an operational and a people perspective. 

Now, more than ever, it’s crucial that leaders are firing on all cylinders - resilient, energised, motivated, focused and productive. But too much stress, unhealthy diets, not enough sleep and not taking time off is leading to the opposite. Short term, this isn’t ideal - there is no way leaders can perform at their peak if they’re not resilient and feeling their best. But the long-term possible repercussions are startling.

The impact of poor wellbeing only gets worse over time

Take stress, for example. It’s now seen as a key contributing factor to 70-80% of chronic diseases worldwide including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, depression and stroke.

Globally, lifestyle-related diseases like these are collectively responsible for almost 70% of all deaths according to the WHO.

What would be the implications of even just one leader being signed off with stress? Other leaders or direct reports would have to pick up their work, it could be operationally damaging as well as having a negative impact on the organisation from a cultural and employee engagement perspective.

In a culture of unhealthy, unresilient leadership, what would the healthcare costs be further down the line?

Might your leaders’ crazy working hours severely damage their long-term health, bring about a chronic disease or, dare I say it, worse?

Which is why my 1:1 wellness and resilience programme is designed specifically for leaders and execs, helping them make the lifestyle behaviour changes they need for sustainable, lasting impact.

Not only does this improve their own wellbeing, resilience and performance at work, it has a ripple effect across the board. It sets them in a great position to tackle the huge challenges that they’ll be facing in the coming months and years, leading the business out of the pandemic, and modeling the right behaviours to the rest of the organisation.

Are healthy, resilient leaders part of your strategy?

What’s the risk to your organisation if they’re not?

If you'd like to find out more about ramping up leadership wellbeing and resilience in your organisation, drop me a line on [email protected]

I work with people and organisations determined to bring their A game to all areas of their world and are ready to create a long, happy and healthy life.

If that sounds like you, let's talk.

Let's talk

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