How does the boss take care of himself?
Many people love the idea of being in command of their own destiny. They love the idea of owning and running their own business but it got me thinking if they have any idea of the challenges involved? How does the boss take care of himself?
‘We’ve got it covered’
I created P3 Business Care and loved the social enterprise model of doing something that would have a wider impact on the community and society. I’d seen enough in my 40-year working career to know that we had to start proactively addressing mental health and other issues impacting people in the workplace. We couldn’t continue with the tick box mentality and saying ‘we’ve got it covered’.
Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of caring individuals who keep a look out for their colleagues. I’d seen that both in my career as a Police Officer and in various management roles in the oil industry and I’d like to think I was one of them. However, as I saw the increase in pressures at work with demanding workloads, reduced resources etc. I also saw their capacity and willingness to get involved decrease. I created P3 Business Care to fill this gap.
Is mental health first aid training the latest fad?
The dictionary definition of a fad is ‘a style, activity or interest that is very popular for a short period of time’. Is mental health first aid training the latest fad?
I’m watching with interest to see the lifespan of the voracious appetite for MHFA training. It’s certainly popular. Our Business Partners undertake the two-day training course so I know first hand the challenge of finding spaces all over the UK. But, having this training and the ability to be effective are two different things.
Only recently I met with a businessman trying to support colleagues who were struggling with a variety of issues. His company had people attend the MHFA training however, his take on it was that they had joined in with the clamour to have people trained so that some how the problem would go away. One of the trained first aiders worked in a basement office and was lucky to have contact with six people a day so how could this work? Even if they did identify a colleague with mental health issues his next question was, “ What do they do next?”
Got the t-shirt!
Thinking about how does the boss take care of himself led me back to the mid 90’s when I went through a particularly challenging time in my life when I was medically diagnosed with acute depression, largely from circumstances that were work related. I came through it with the help of medication and got my mojo back when I could put that season of life behind me and look forward with a fresh optimism and I haven’t looked back since! There is a strength and knowledge that comes from having ‘got the t- shirt’ and I feel it has given me empathy towards those battling mental health issues.
We often use the term mental health but need to identify what is feeding the actual mental health? We need to remember this can be positive as well as the negative that we so often focus on. When relationships are good, work is good, finance is good, then we would say life is good but it is often when one or more of these areas are a problem that the trigger to poor mental health is pulled.
I knew from my work experience we had to move to a proactive approach. Our Business Partners, male and female, visit our client’s business every week developing trust and relationships with employees so we can proactively identify and address the underlying issues. Once we have identified the issue we put in place practical and proactive help whilst keeping them gainfully employed.
I know from my own experience that being signed off sick by a well meaning GP can be the trigger to slide from anxiety to depression. Keeping you at work and earning an income can be the lifebelt that keeps your head above water whilst you address what’s going on under the surface.
How does the boss take care of himself?
I started this blog thinking about the challenge of creating and running a business and all the personal responsibilities that go with it and how does the boss take care of himself? I’d love to hear how others successfully manage this challenge. For me I would say the following has been helpful:
Have another significant individual in your life
For me it’s my wife Ashlyn. She is the one who keeps my feet on the ground, is my sounding board, is blessed with so much wisdom and knows the signs of when I need a break or some encouragement. I know that may look different for many but I would really encourage you to have that one individual who really knows you and you spend regular time with. It doesn’t have to be a life partner but good friend etc.
To have the energy to manage everything that goes on in your business it stands to reason you need to be healthy but this doesn’t happen by accident. You need to purposefully look at your lifestyle, sleep, diet and exercise. If I’m honest this is a continual challenge when I go from being very focused to times of not paying it enough attention, but I know the importance of it and feel the benefit when I’m focused on living a healthy life. Speaking of focus brings me to my last point…
I recently read a book Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt that has been transformational in the way I am managing my life and business. His philosophy is that we need to be free to focus on those things that will help develop whatever God given purpose you have been given. You basically need to delegate or delete anything that is not developing that purpose on a daily basis. There is obviously a lot more around managing daily tasks, weekly outcomes, quarterly goals etc. but bringing focus to what I am doing in all areas of my life has been really helpful. Check it out at Free to Focus
About P3 Business Care
P3 Business Care is a social enterprise operating across the UK. Visiting your business on a weekly basis we provide personal and proactive support to your employees working in partnership with the company. We develop trust & relationships so we can identify and address issues before they become absence or staff turnover. Read more about our services here