Leadership and overweight

For a long time studies have shown that people with (severe) overweight are perceived less capable of leadership, as you can read in this Wall Street Journal article from back in 2013.

Is it fair? No, it’s not. Is it true? I don’t think your weight says something about your skills no. But, what I do know is that the performance level goes down when people are overweight.

When you are healthy, your body uses less energy to fight off your inflammation or possible risks for diseases. That’s just plain logic. But it’s also that the fuel you used (how you became fat) is not the right fuel for your body to perform to its most optimum.

Science shows that for example glucose – often seen as the only source of energy for your brain – is NOT the preferred energy source for many cells. There is an alternative energy source that is, called Ketones. A by-product your liver creates when it is ‘burning fat from your fat cells’.

Your body only creates these ketones when you are no longer storing fat, but are changing your metabolic state to fat burning. Either by using the ketogenic diet or when you’re fasting.

So as long as you keep eating a high carbohydrate diet – even though considered healthy with lots of green leafy vegetables, fruits, grass-fed meat and only whole wheat grain, you will never metabolism fat to its way to create ketones.

When you are not doing any exercise, your energy level also is lower than it could be. Funny enough we feel more energized when we exercise regularly.

So, a healthy lifestyle IS very important. For everyone, it is of course, but if you’re in a leadership role, you will affect how people perceive your leadership capabilities (and therefore decide to accept you as their leader) lower when you are overweight.

It might also be a subconscious thing where people that don’t work out or are able to have the proclaimed self-discipline to follow a healthy diet, aren’t the example they are looking for in a leader.

Now again, is it fair? Well, what is fair? Do you want to show up as the best version of yourself? And when being unhealthy, is that version the best you can be? No. There are ways to lose weight (when it’s not because of another medical reason of course) sustainable by understanding what the biology is and how you can use the biology to reverse the overweight. You not working out IS a conscious choice. So in a way, it is fair that people see it as they do.

It does start with you, the decisions you make create the results you get. And if you don’t want that result, you need to make other decisions. And that starts with feeling different about something. How do you start feeling different? By thinking different.

So it is a mindset thing. Knowledge itself does nothing until you take the appropriate action.

And that is a decision you have to make and has nothing to do anymore with it being fair or true what others think. It’s what you think: can I become healthier than I am now? If that answer is yes, you can start making the change.

If you want to know more about HOW you can do that, we can actually help you with that. Schedule a Free Strategy Call with our certified health coach now and start the change.

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