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The threat to success that too many business owners ignore


Under-the-pump business owners need to stop putting themselves at the bottom of the heap if they want a truly successful business, says Kiwi doctor Sven Hansen.

“We quickly comprehend the value of impeccable maintenance and performance when tuning a Formula One racing car but leaders can be sloppy and vague when it comes to securing their own maintenance and performance,” says Dr Hansen of The Resilience Institute.

This is particularly true of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) where owners put themselves at the bottom of the list.

As Head of Growth at The Icehouse, Liz Wotherspoon sees the destructive impact mental stress has on small-business owners.

“Whether it is relationship trauma, health issues, depression, anxiety or inappropriate work behaviours, business success frequently stalls or flounders when owner-managers fail to take care of their own mental wellbeing,” she says.

Recognising the importance of self-care in business, The Icehouse has partnered with The Resilience Institute as part of their flagship Owner Manager Programme.

Dr Sven says learning to focus on self, in conjunction with running a business, begins by building an understanding of your own resilience; the learned ability to bounce, grow, connect and flow.

There are a number of ways business owners can develop their resilience and become a more effective leader. These include:

- Creating a support network by connecting with other like-minded business owners where you can share tools and strategies

- Seeking practical training in self-awareness and mastery

- Taking time to reflect on the importance of resilience and wellbeing

- Experimenting with new learned skills and situation mastery

Hundreds of New Zealand business owners have seen a substantial increase in their personal and interpersonal performance after participating in The Icehouse’s Owner Manager Programme.

“These leaders are significantly reducing risks to their leadership and their lives. Perhaps more importantly they are securing positive gains in physical, emotion and mental wellbeing,” says Dr Hansen.

The programme allows owner-managers to develop their skills, address business issues, hone their strategic plan and drive their business forward to greater success through expert presentations, assessments, group dialogue, projects, business planning and coaching.

As part of the programme, participants assess and develop their strengths and risks on an integral, evidence-based framework to reveal their ‘resilience ratio’.

“What leader would not want a 35 percent improvement in purpose, 33 percent improvement in optimism, 32 percent improvement in compassion and decisiveness, and a 31 percent improvement in creativity and focus?” says Wotherspoon.

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