If you’ve spent your career working to get to the top of the wellness profession, your gut reaction to this question is no. But before you dismiss the idea outright, consider why it might have merit:
Blind spots create serious weaknesses over time.
Even if you’re exceptionally self-aware, you’re going to have them. In the short term, they may not impede the growth of your well-being program, but left in the dark for years, blind spots can erode effectiveness and limit evolution.
Pet projects, staff, vendors, and participants can lead to complacency.
If you invest time and energy in everything that has produced positive results in the past, you’ll likely have a low-stress job. But you may also be limiting opportunities for your program’s next big breakthrough.
Leaders can get out of touch.
As you spend more time analyzing data, preparing reports, dealing with vendors, and pitching to management, you’re necessarily spending less time on the ground with the people you’re trying to serve. And that means potentially losing your finger on the pulse of the organization.
From a practical standpoint, however, it’s not likely (and maybe not desirable) to limit a well-being leader’s time at the top. So what can you do to mitigate the real risks above? Consider:
Investing in life-long learning.
We’re not talking about only reading health promotion journals and attending industry events (though these are important as long as you’re in the field). Ongoing learning requires getting outside your area of expertise to acquire deep understanding of the broader business and industry. Seek wide-ranging executive education so your skills align with those of leaders in other functions within your organization.
Enlisting the help of mentors and maybe life coaches to identify areas for growth.
Then apply a systematic approach to acquire the knowledge and skills that will keep you at the top of your game.
Mentoring younger, up-and-coming employees.
While this may not seem intuitive, if you take the role seriously you’ll do the homework and preparation necessary for imparting sound career guidance. And this will reveal opportunities for you to learn and grow.
This is a great field… it’s no wonder you’re in no hurry to limit your time at the top. But you owe it to yourself and your employer to evolve and always be providing more value. Take some time this week to be sure you’re working toward that goal.