Leader: You Need to Lose Weight

Ryan Gottfredson

by Ryan Gottfredson

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Imagine going to an executive team and telling them that they all need to lose weight. How do you think they are going to respond to that?

Now, of course, you are going to do this is the most tactful way possible. You are going to explain all of the benefits of eating healthy, exercising, and being at a more ideal body weight. And, quite frankly, the evidence for losing weight is limitless and profound. You will likely be able to explain that losing weight will add years to their life, make them feel better in the moment, and reduce their likelihood of heart disease, cancer, you name it.

Still, how is this going to go over? How many of the executives are going to think to themselves: “You are right, I need to lose weight,” and then do what losing weight actually requires: transforming both themselves and how they are living?

I don’t know about you, but I am rather pessimistic about the likelihood of these executives transforming themselves and their lives such that they go on to lose weight.

Is there any difference when you focus on mindsets?

Isn’t focusing on mindsets with an executive team essentially the same?

Both involve inviting the leaders to:

  • Deepen their self-awareness
  • Become more conscious of what they are putting into their bodies
  • Transform themselves
  • Transform how they are living

And, there are comparable benefits. Shifting one’s mindsets will lead to:

  • Being more psychologically healthy
  • Improved thinking and processing
  • Functioning more effectively
  • Add greater energy to one’s life
  • Greater influence and success

Finally, at a foundational level, both require a transformation.

Interested in Your Insights

This leads me to wonder: If helping leaders and employees shift their mindsets is like helping them lose weight, how might thinking about how to go about helping leaders to lose weight alter how you work with these leaders and employees to improve their mindsets?

I am legitimately asking for your input.

Is it even helpful to think about it in this way?

When this idea first popped in my head, my first thought was: “I would never go into an organization and tell them all that they need to lose weight.” Not because there isn’t value to it, but because I believe that few, if any, would:

  • Be receptive to the message
  • Internalize the message
  • And, actually go about transforming their lives

I ask, because I will soon be meeting with an executive team who I am told “will not be receptive to the message that they need to focus on and change their mindsets.”

If I think about how I might approach them with this question, “What would I have to do to help them be receptive to the message that they need to lose weight?”, should that help me in coming up with an approach that would help this group of executives see the need to change their mindsets and then actually go through the efforts to transform their mindsets?

If you have any thoughts on this, comment your insights below or send me an email.

Thank you in advance.

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