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Beyond Participation: Lead the Way

by Megan Hunter ASEBP | September 15 2016

You may have read my last post about how to gather a squad and get participation off the charts at your school, but what happens next? After assembling your team of wellness champions, how do you plan, gather resources and initiate your program when you get the green light? Well, simply put, it begins with you.

Lead by Example

Be the leader you want to have. This Girl Guides mantra is something I adopted from one of my favourite mentors, Liz Barter—my most amazing Guider-in-charge. I met Liz when I was seven and she eventually encouraged me and a fellow guider, Kate, to co-lead a group when we were 18. Co-leading with Kate was many moons ago but the principle of stepping up and exuding personal leadership has proven to be incredibly invaluable over the years. Here are just a few ways in which these skills have come handy in my life and how you can implement them in yours and share with your team:

  • Don’t just flaunt it, own it! Personal ownership gives direction to set solid goals and it can inspire others to do the same. When you know what you want to achieve, your focus helps you be supportive with your colleagues, friends and family. Check out Dr. Lowe’s blog on resilience, or Barry Litun’s blog on setting the stage for wellness, and take note of the idea of self-care to give our best self to those who rely on us.
  • Be a leadership magnet. Like-minded people attract one another and this is no exception when it comes to other leaders at work. Connect with other wellness champs and bounce ideas off of each other. This is how you end up with a support network of amazing people.
  • Empower YOU. Regardless of the constraints of your environment, leadership skills help you understand what things in your life you have influence over. Leaders take guidance when it’s provided, yet are not afraid to take the first step to try something new.

Step on the Gas

So, how does this translate into action? As Yoda would say, "asking you am I!"

  • What can you offer others? Are you amazing at sharing the latest research on the importance of taking breaks in the day; promoting great mental health; or spreading the word about a program such as your school jurisdiction’s Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP)? Hone-in on one of your strengths and run with it in your wellness working group.
  • What are your interests? Would you consider inviting your colleagues and students to join you in the activities you love? Excellent! People light up when they do something they love and it attracts others to what you’re working on too (as mentioned in the magnet comment above).

The Best of You

It has been said that we are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with. What if you and the five closest people you work with decide to spice up your leadership skills? You’ll morph into a powerful group that seeks to support each other, creating amazing initiatives and programming for your audiences. Get extraordinary together and lead the way!

Megan Hunter

With more than 10 years promoting healthy living through recreation, fitness and play within Canada, the U.S. and Europe, Megan is one of ASEBP’s workplace wellness liaison superheroes! A unicorn among unicorns, our resident ray of sunshine leaves rainbows in her wake and knows that there is no unsuitable place to demonstrate appropriate handstand technique—only unsuitable attire.