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Jan 20 2015

For Leaders, Looking Healthy Matters More than Looking Smart; Back Pain Liberation Assists

RosietheriveterWith the advent of each new year, many of us make resolutions to improve our lives and careers. The most common of these typically involve health-related goals such as losing weight. The next most common might be a goal to advance one's career.

While we tend to separate career goals from health goals, in reality there is overlap. If setting career goals, then you may want to think about getting healthier too. Why? Because new evidence suggests healthy-looking individuals are perceived as better leaders, even over intelligent-looking people, according to this report in the Harvard Business Review:

The evidence comes from a study led by Brian Spisak at VU University of Amsterdam and published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. The study asked participants to judge leadership potential by looking at faces. Why examine our reactions to faces? Because they lead us to make snap judgments about other people.

To quote the paper, “Qualities such as facial femininity can have a significant impact on who followers endorse as a leader in different situations because these visual signals can serve as a proxy for latent behavioral potential.” Facial femininity, for example, can signal tendencies to befriend or collaborate. Likewise, perceived age can be used to estimate wisdom or experience. 

And how is good health manifested in one's facial appearance? 

As acknowledged in WebMD, if you are among those suffering from low back pain you know the effect is more than physical. Chronic back pain can profoundly effect your mood, and just about every other part of your life:

"Chronic pain is something that interferes with every aspect of daily living. You can't concentrate -- you can't remember things as well. It affects your appetite, it affects your sleep," says Robert N. Jamison, PhD, associate professor in the Departments of Anesthesia and Psychiatry at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston.

People in constant pain may worry they won't be able to work or go about their daily activities. With all of that stress, "It makes sense that people get depressed, anxious, and irritable," Jamison says.

In other words, unhealthy and un-leaderlike.

Back pain expert Dr. Sean Wheeler sees the effect of back pain upon his new patients every week. Which is why he set out to apply new thinking to old medicine.

The result is his soon-to-be-published book UPRISE, which will soon add a powerful new understanding to the treatment of back pain. For leaders, and everyone.

In this excerpt from UPRISE, Dr. Wheeler points to your right to reclaim your inner rock star:

Have you ever sat near a really good musician while they  are performing and been blown away by their artistry? You feel pulled in, transported to another place by the music they are able to produce, the feeling they are somehow greater than themselves because of the emotion and passion they are able to share with their audience.

We all have this power. Our inner rock star.

Maybe this power is demonstrated in how we do perform in our work, in a goal we set for ourselves, or the way we treat others, which inspires others to be better than themselves. One person can change the world, but it is so much more difficult when your life is out of tune, when your lumbar spine, your back, your Body Guitar®, does not allow you to pluck the strings of your life song.

Achieve back pain liberation and reclaim your inner rock star, to achieve your uprise.

Learn how soon, in the showered with advance praisenew book UPRISE.

[Image from Networked Leadership]

Until now, few studies systematically examine what really works against repeated back pain and what doesn’t.

Gretchen Reynolds, NYTimes Well blog

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