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Wellness Leadership Skills for 2012

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  


Check your skills against this list to see how well you’re progressing as a wellness program leader…


  • Share credit and blame. When things go well it’s easy to accept the accolades of participants and management. A sign of growth is being able to accept your share of the blame when things don’t go so well.
  • Have a sixth man attitude. Like the valuable sixth player on a basketball team, wellness leaders are important contributors who can enter the game when needed, but are just as content to watch from the sidelines when the team is doing well.
  • Manage people adversity. Wellness professionals like to be liked. But as a leader you’re sometimes required to make unpopular decisions about people and resources. A successful leader can make the tough decisions and move forward with self-esteem intact.
  • See the big picture. Leaders spend a good deal of time on issues that affect the entire organization, and leave day-to-day operations to assistants best positioned to sweat the details.
  • Teach as well as lead. Many of today’s top wellness managers learned in the school of hard knocks. Leaders make time to teach aspiring professionals the shortcuts to success.
  • Let go of the reins. Top professionals allow others to take over successful projects, then move on to new activities that add more value to the organization.
  • Champion talent. Confident managers grab on to rising stars and help propel them to even greater heights within the organization.
  • Understand strengths and weaknesses. The best leaders strive to be surrounded by individuals with complementary talents who can compensate for shortcomings.

As you begin the new year, take time to make an honest appraisal of your management skills. Then make plans to enhance your strengths and shore up your weaknesses.