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This Little Known Habit Goes A Long Way In The Life of a Leader A fit leader is able to set higher goals for self, achieve them, deliver on tough tasks whilst staying positive, be a better team player and overall enhance their own working life

By Dheeraj Sehgal

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A good emotional and intelligence quotient helps in managing teams and the daily pressures of business. However, staying mentally and physically fit adds a lot more in a leader's life.

According to the Journal of Managerial Psychology, executives who followed a regular fitness regimen were found to be better leaders. The research revealed that regular exercise has a positive correlation to how others rated executives on various leadership indices. It is easy to see a correlation between fitness and an effective leader, and its relevance is sometimes played down. Physical and mental fitness helps leaders in their day to day work as well as in strengthening their career paths. Here's how.

Fitness ensures positivity of mind and body

While we have spent a whole lot of time to understand our emotional and intelligence quotient. the time has also come to invest in our mental and physical wellness. Investing time in your own wellbeing also has positive effects on people around you. So whether you are a leader or a fresher at work, taking some time off, and exert the body into doing work out. Whatever it may be – a simple walk, some yoga or a run – starting the day with it, or making it part of your daily routine will have a fairly positive effect on you.

There's a scientific reason behind this. When we exert our body, it releases chemicals, called endorphins, which lead to positive feelings and a general sense of wellbeing. Increased level of exercise also leads to improvement in body image and higher confidence. Hence, regular exercise is an organic mood elevator leading to a healthier body and a happier and sharper mind.

Fitness encourages a disciplined goal-focused approach

Fitness is the result of following an exercise regimen in a disciplined manner. It demands systematic working towards a pre-decided goal. This is also important for a corporate leader who has to adopt a goal-focused approach and then relentlessly work towards realizing the organization goals and helping their teams fulfil personal life goals.

An effective leader needs to take decisions quickly. Regular exercise helps in maintaining the sharpness of our mind. Physical exercise increases the size of Hippocampus, a region of the brain, which is crucial for memory and other important brain functions. The study reveals that those who exercised regularly fared much better on a memory test. Regular exercise helps you think clearly, a key attribute that make a good leader. It also helps you to sleep better – something that everyone must indulge in.

A fit leader is more energetic and therefore, more productive As a leader, you are multi-tasking all the time. You need to be on top of things across many aspects of your business/teams/competition/stakeholders and so on. Not to forget the extraordinary time in meetings and strategic planning. A fit body, sharp memory and an attentive mind are the keys ask on a daily basis, hour by hour and minute by minute. One does get tempted to keep everything away and dedicate every waking hour towards the business on hand. Almost forgetting at times that "you' are also your own business, and it is essential to spend time on yourself as well.

Taking short breaks in your daily routine is rejuvenating. However, spending time daily to build your mind and body has many long-lasting benefits. Regular exercise helps you in growing your stamina, thereby enabling you to make every minute count in the day. You are more active in meetings, your comprehensive becomes sharper and you help your teams proceed towards desirable results. It cannot be emphasised enough on the positive impact a fit body and mind has on your productivity.

A good leader is always associated with the bond they have with their teams

Believe it or not, a leader who invests in their own health is more engaged with their own teams. They are aware of the importance of health and wellbeing, and actively encourage their team members to follow and maintain a healthy routine. Thereby, creating a positive and a happy vibe amongst their own teams.

In today's very hectic, super-connected lifestyles we tend to focus on every development happening around us. We are becoming more aware and we know how to better our emotional and intelligence quotient. However, one mustn't lose sight of one's own health and wellbeing. Invest in increasing the fitness of your mind and body, as it will take you – as an individual and as a leader – way ahead! It truly is a secret mantra that helps people become better humans and better leaders.

So pick up any physical activity of your choice, make a commitment to fitness, make it one of your life goals, and the impact will be massive!

Dheeraj Sehgal

Chief Institutional Business Officer, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance

Dheeraj Sehgal took charge as the Chief Institutional Business Officer of Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company in November 2017. A results-driven professional, Dheeraj brings with him over two decades of experience in financial services industry and pharmaceutical industry, leading multiple roles in sales and distribution, building new business models and defining business strategies. Dheeraj has a track record of successfully leading large teams and projects and is known for building long-lasting alliances.

In his present role, Dheeraj is responsible for all institutional businesses including bancassurance, financial inclusion, broking, corporate agency, online business and direct sales to customer business.

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