What do we mean by “extend”? We extend by making something longer, wider or greater.
The energy behind extend invites us to broaden, deepen, stretch and strive. When we extend with intention and the willingness to adapt and learn, we can also grow ourselves and the people and systems we lead.
However, extending can be tricky. It’s common to extend too fast or too much and lose track of your wellbeing core. Perhaps you altruistically serve others, only to find yourself depleted. Or you start a new community wellness partnership that looks good on paper, but when the relationship plays out in reality, you realize you’ve comprised your values. Or, in your ambition to make a big splash, your wellness innovations lack relevance and depth.
A good question to ask is, How can you extend your wellness leadership while cultivating, rather than losing, wellbeing?
Two practices to extend your wellbeing leadership.
Extend your impact through others. One of our key roles as wellness leaders is to build the leadership capabilities of others. Mentor employees to lead wellness initiatives. Organize a network of wellness leaders to support one another in your town or region. Seek opportunities to train young people to lead wellness while growing their wellbeing; you’d be surprised at the original and creative strategies they adopt—approaches you can learn from, too.
Extend your wonder. Write down a difficulty you face as a wellness leader, for example, how hard it is to get some colleagues or family members to take wellness seriously. No matter how confounding your situation is, ask, Can I extend a sense of wonder to it? This means asking questions from true curiosity, seeking points of view that differ from your own, and shifting from an either/or to a both/and mindset so that you can see the situation more fully. Extending your wonder also means seeing the beauty and learning inherent in the difficulty—it may be a ripe opportunity for growth not just for others but also for you.
This is an excerpt from the May Wellness Moonshot, which is curated and developed by Renee Moorefield for the Global Wellness Institute. Read the full article here: May Wellness Moonshot :: Extend
Renee Moorefield is the founder and CEO of Wisdom Works. She is on the board of the Global Wellness Institute, chairs the Wellness at Work Initiative, and helps guide The Wellness Moonshot™, a global call to action to create a world free of preventable disease. Her monthly columns can be read here.