I ran into an old friend about a week ago. She was excited and happy to see me. We were all chatty and excited as any reunited old friends would be.
Over some drinks half an hour later, we caught up on a lot that’s happened since we last met and equally joked about some old memories.
But with all her happy-and-excited-to-see-you countenance, I was able to detect a few lines of worry that kept appearing on her face.
I didn’t know what to do.
Should I ask her and possibly hit a nerve or a sore spot?
Would I be able to handle it?
I mean she was obviously doing her best to be her usual happy and chatty self. So whatever it was that she was hiding was quite weighty.
Before long, the always-concerned and ever-ready-to-help person in me took the better of me. Her worried look transferred to me – I couldn’t hold it in anymore.
“What’s wrong, Ann?” I blurted out.
“There’s something on your mind, right?”
Her response confirmed my suspicion. The forced bright and excited look on her face dissipated faster than I could blink, giving way to a gloomy and sad one.
“You know you can tell me anything. I’ll do my best to help.”
“Iheoma, my boss is sick! He has Type II Diabetes” she blurted. “I don’t know what would become of me if anything happens to him.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. Ann has always had high moral standards. I wouldn’t believe it if anyone told me that she was having an affair with her married boss.
She must have seen the expression on my face and read my thoughts which made her to put me clear immediately.
“Oh no, I meant my job. I mean, if anything happened to my boss, I’d have a major job threat – and if I’m out of job – I wouldn’t know what would become of me and my family.”
“Oh… I’m sorry about that” I apologized, chastising myself for being quick to judge her.
But that got me thinking: employees are concerned about the health status of their bosses.
Well, why wouldn’t they be? Having a secure and paying job is priceless. A new CEO could mean severe structural and organizational changes in the organization – and many people could lose their jobs in the process.
Discover the benefits of being a healthy CEO
In my friend, Ann’s case, she was the CEO’s P.A. With the man gone, her job would be hanging on a thin rope.
Studies have shown that heart attacks cause 60% of CEO deaths. Does this mean that CEOs, with all their wealth, have no interest in their health?
I don’t think so.
Most CEOs get so lost in the struggles of building and growing their business that they forget that they actually need to be healthy to enjoy their wealth.
CEOs spend their working-hours multitasking. They make decisions in matters such as legal issues, human resource issues, new products, marketing strategies, etc.
Let’s not forget that some of these matters are urgent and so, demand an immediate response – responses that must be right for the business.
So all these decisions, as well as so many other responsibilities of the CEO, must be executed with the organization’s vision in sight. A wrong step costs the business a lot: reputation, authority, clientele, and consequently, money.
At the end of the day when the work day is over, and the dust settles, all the hustle and bustle that characterize a CEO’s day, distill and form a health threat:
Each passing day, more drops of this health enemy distill into the CEO’s body system and soon, if he does nothing to fight it, he falls sick.
What happens next?
Your guess is as good as mine. The CEO is struck down.
And all the ensuing action is like the effect the cries and clucking of a dying chicken has on its mates.
In a typical African home, celebrations are often marked by the killing of a chicken – sometimes, two or three. As soon as the knife starts cutting the neck of the selected chicken, it starts to make desperate cries and struggles for its life.
This alerts all other chickens in the environment and neighborhood.
They panic. Some run away in fear of their seemingly impending fate, while others begin to make a sympathy-cry for their dying mate.
Some neighbors will immediately come over, hoping to get a share.
When you joke with your health, you’re putting your business in jeopardy. Like my friend, Ann, your employees will panic and worry in fear of their unknown fate.
Your competition will sympathize but will strategize on how they could maximize the opportunity presented by your unfortunate circumstance.
And just like a graveyard, the atmosphere in your business will be gloomy and quiet.
You get the best healthcare to ensure you come back – and if you’re lucky – your body will fight back and win. But then you’d have gone through a near-death experience, sending panic and worry across family and employees.
No business owner wants to have to go through this, I’m sure.
As a business owner, there are so many reasons why your business needs you to be healthy. We are going to touch each one of them. When we’re done I’m sure, you’ll begin to make conscious efforts to remain healthy – for yourself – and your business.
1. Sick CEOs spook their employees
The sad news of your health status is sure to spread anxiety among your employees. They’ll perceive it as a job threat and that will keep them stressed up.
One would wonder why this is so, considering that they are not the ones on the sick bed. But studies have shown that just the threat of unemployment has a health effect on employees.
This distraction is not good for business. It hampers employee productivity, competence, and efficiency – and could kill your already-established authority in your industry.
2. You fit the role
From your fit and well-exercised body, full of energy and ready to take you wherever you need to be; to your sound mind which does your thinking and helps you make good decisions; and to your charming personality which you exude to the world because you’re an overall happy and successful person, you are at the top of your game.
You don’t have to look like a model, but your healthy lifestyle has shaped and prepped you to look good for the camera. One look at you, and potential clients will be screaming, “that’s a CEO I’d want to do business with!”
3. Calm and collected even in crisis
As a business owner, the crazy events of the office life can be overwhelming and could drive you into panic when things go wrong.
From the desperate need to meet deadlines; to the rat race to keep appointments; to the competitive and intellectual investment in negotiating with and winning over high-paying clients.
And let’s not forget to mention the daily headlines that remind you of feats achieved by your competitors which does no good to your efforts to douse your desperation and frustration, you get more than your fair share of craziness.
Most critical is when your business is in the middle of a crisis, your ability to remain calm and articulate is key in your usefulness in finding the solution and getting your business out of the mess.
A healthy lifestyle ensures a strong heart, healthy vessels, robust organs, fit and well-exercised muscles and a sharp and determined mind that helps you perform at your peak – even during crisis.
4. Being healthy makes you more productive
Your robust health lets you focus on building and growing your business. A sick CEO cannot perform neither can they move their business forward – at least not on a sick bed.
Can you picture a CEO bubbling with life, oozing of good health, happy, enthusiastic and determined, with a mind bursting with ideas? Nothing is impossible!
They break barriers, set records, meet deadlines, achieve goals, leave legacies, and take their business far into the future.
Consequently, their employees and shareholders are happy.
5. You will inspire the world
The younger generation will look up to you – the older generation too. You are successful, wealthy, healthy, and can afford whatever you want.
There can’t be a better shining example and role model to inspire them.
By looking up to you, they too can work on developing their talents, correcting their mistakes, and making something meaningful out of their lives. Your popularity and authority grow – and before you know it, you have moved your business to a whole new level.
Bottom line, staying healthy has its perks: your business will thank you – in its own way!