It’s been a blessing for me to interview leaders from all walks of life who strive to bring out the highest and best in people and situations. These leaders do not claim to be perfect – not by a long shot – yet they share a deep commitment to evolve our priorities from income alone to responsible impact, from profit to planet, from wealth to wellbeing. And they are helping give rise to a movement for leading from such values as wholeness, compassion, rejuvenation, and wisdom.
During each interview I’ve asked, “What does it mean for you to lead wellbeing?” Today I celebrate the voices of these six women:
- “As human beings, we all have needs and wants, strengths and desires, hopes and fears. To me, leading wellbeing means understanding what each individual brings to the table and how I can best help them bring their best selves – their whole selves – to our work together.” – Patti Streeper, Vice President, Corporate Innovation, Hallmark Cards
- “To me leading wellbeing means two things. It means role-modeling wellbeing personally so that I can be at my best physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and professionally. But it also means leading a change throughout the country.” – Suzy Harrington, Chief Wellness Officer, Oklahoma State University
- “… for me leading wellbeing is having the guts to really practice what I preach, to back my words up with actions. It means being vulnerable and admitting when my ego is driving me toward burnout. I think you build the strongest team when you can be vulnerable and take care of yourself personally.” – Alexis Jones, CEO, I AM THAT GIRL
- “Being a wellbeing leader means that I am focusing on wellbeing in my own life, but I am also working to create a culture of wellbeing in whatever environments I intersect with. This includes the work environment – in my case the university – and certainly within my family and community. – Mary Jo Kreitzer, Director, Center for Spirituality & Healing, University of Minnesota
- “For me it [leading wellbeing] means being a role model, embracing wellbeing myself—living that kind of lifestyle. It’s not just about health—physical, mental, spiritual—but also about being vibrant and joyful.” – Susie Ellis, CEO, Global Wellness Institute
- Leading wellbeing is about “real leadership, inspired leadership … demonstration. It’s about who you are and how you show up as well as you can even when others aren’t. It’s about thinking, Even if you aren’t going to show up at 100 percent, I am. Even if you are feeling fearful or uninspired, I am going to show up from love.” – Tama Kieves, best-selling author & inspirational speaker
It’s easy to forget our true nature as innately creative, whole, and resourceful people. These women remind us: leading wellbeing means walking on the wellbeing journey personally, plus fostering the conditions where others can do the same. No matter where you are, thriving is possible.
What does it mean to you to lead wellbeing? We’d love to hear your voice too.