Welcome to the first installment of our four-part series on Executive Wellness Leadership. In this article and subsequent installments, we will build the case that an investment in executive wellness is actually an investment in your business.

It’s no secret that busy executives experience heightened stress on a daily basis, but studies show that business leaders today believe their jobs to be even more stressful than they were five short years ago[1]. When you factor in increased stress and longer hours, lack of exercise and poor eating habits often come along for the ride. And all those elements, in combination, can add up to unhealthy leaders that may face illness and eventual absences from their positions—all of which can impede business stability, growth and success!

Just think about Apple Inc., when rumors of Steve Jobs’ health problems first emerged. Even before it became clear that his condition was fatal, mere whispers of his illness shook the waters of consumer confidence, leading to stock and sales volatility. And that’s just one example!

As Dr. Walter Gaman explains in Corporate Wellness magazine…

“A company is a living – breathing being, with executives acting as the vital organs that keep it going.”

Historical data tells us that an organization’s direction and bottom line is largely driven by those at the top. When a company changes C-level executives there can be a ripple effect to the company’s stock, but when investors learn of an unexpected illness of an executive, the effects can be more like a 7.0 on the Richter scale.”[2]

Given the potential negative impact of executive illness, he goes on to argue, investing in executive health is just good business…executive wellness programs should basically be considered insurance policies against volatility within your organization.

Gaman even goes so far as to suggest allocating a minimum wellness investment of $5000 per executive – a small number, he argues, when you consider how many resources are already devoted to C-suite leadership, and how much money is at stake should the health of these leaders begin to fail.

Executive health has become such a source of concern that major medical institutions have caught on to the idea of promoting business leaders’ well-being. Organizations like the Cleveland Clinic have adopted executive health programs, promoting wellness goals like proper nutrition, physical fitness and stress management while also helping top-level executives examine the root-causes of their compromised well-being. Clearly, this is a trend that isn’t going away any time soon.

And, in focusing on executive wellness, companies are positioning themselves to save money: especially when it comes to healthcare costs. In fact, some insurance companies will provide corporate clients with flat or lower group rates when they invest in executive and employee wellness programs! [3]

But, as it turns out, a focus on executive health isn’t just valuable for its ability to prevent problems – the simple act of boosting leadership wellness can actually lead to business growth and other positive developments for an organization.

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Executive Wellness Boosts the Bottom Line

Some of the financial benefits of executive wellness are immediately obvious. Healthier executives are more present and less burnt-out. This almost always translates to increased productivity and positive returns.

Offering an Executive Wellness Leadership Program for example, has been proven to be an attractive benefit to top-level employees and can immensely enhance both recruitment and retention of internal and external top talent at c-suite and senior levels. And, when you supplement such a program with Executive Wellness Coaching, the benefits increase dramatically.

As I have witnessed in my many years as a corporate wellness provider, consultant and coach, Executive Wellness Coaching can immensely support CEOs, executives and business leaders in reaching their highest potential.

Top leadership needs to be at their very best for a company to grow and succeed. And, just as top athletes require coaching to achieve peak performance on the playing field, executives and senior leaders likewise need guidance to knock their performance out of the park.

Executive Wellness Leadership Programs can also help top-level leaders hone their strategic thinking, systems perspective skills, and sharply develop a growth mindset. Leadership-centric wellness programs also enhance intrapersonal relationship building (a skill that can help leaders better understand and connect with their employees), which in turn helps optimize employee communications, team cohesion and output.

It’s no secret that when employees feel they have a voice, they are more confident speaking up, and venturing into new territories.

…And that’s when business magic happens: new ideas are formed, new products are developed, new strategies are introduced and new partnerships are formed…all of which add up to increased revenue, growth and a more inclusive, vibrant work culture.

By making even a small investment in executive wellness, organizations stand to profit!

Enhanced executive wellness, in both the physical and mental realms, contributes to increased stamina and mental acuity. And that has a positive trickle-down effect, fostering heightened levels of innovation, growth, and success by and for all.

Be watching for the second installment in our Executive Wellness Leadership Series where we’ll reveal how executives can “Lead by Example” to help cultivate healthier, thriving work cultures.

Interested in Executive Wellness Leadership training or Executive Wellness Coaching for yourself or your organization? Connect with us at info@workplacewellnesscoe.com to receive our EWLP Overview video and to schedule a Discovery Consult.

Executive Wellness Leadership Series:

[Part 2] Executives “Leading by Example” for Healthier Work Cultures

[Part 3] Amplify Employee Wellness & Engagement with Executive-led “Wellness Champion Programs”

[Part 4] Steps to Becoming an Executive Wellness Champion

About the Author:

Lisa Kelly, President, Workplace Wellness Centre of Excellence (a division of KWC Inc.), has been cultivating healthy changes within workplaces and with personal clients for over 20 years. Through her “Workplace Wellness Leadership Certification Series” and Executive Wellness Leadership Programs, Lisa’s mission is to create an innovative and collaborative landscape for global workplace wellness that fosters employee-driven, results-oriented wellness solutions that benefit employers, employees, and communities at large.


[1] O’Sullivan, David, “Why executive wellness is more important than ever in a fast-paced business world,” biznews.com. https://www.biznews.com/health/2017/02/21/discovery-executive-wellness

[2] Gaman, Dr. Walter, “Executive Health a Top Priority for Stock Holders,” Corporate Wellness magazine https://www.corporatewellnessmagazine.com/article/executive-health-a-top-priority

[3] Rudat, Catharine, “Corporate Wellness Doesn’t Just Save Money; It Makes Money,” Corporate Wellness magazine https://www.corporatewellnessmagazine.com/article/corporate-wellness-save-money-make-money