How Physical Fitness Enhances One’s Leadership : John Mattone Global, Inc.

 Physical fitness is the cornerstone of emotional and physical well-being. Physical activity allows leaders to reset their minds, energize themselves, and show a positive example. Being physically fit improves self-confidence and defeats issues that may make us self-conscious.  

“Nothing will work unless you do.” – Maya Angelou.

Working out is good for your body and brain. It stimulates cognition, makes you more capable of handling stress, and keeps you physically healthy. As a leadership coaching professional, I know the role and place of physical fitness in the grand scheme of intelligent leadership. I also understand how physical well-being impacts your leadership abilities.

fit to lead

Are you fit to lead? 

The expression “fit to lead” didn’t come into existence by happenstance. Leaders must be emotionally, physically, and intellectually fit to lead. A leader’s abilities directly impact the fate of the community, and no community wants to see its fate in the hands of leaders who can’t manage or lead themselves.

How Physical Fitness Impacts Leadership

Physical fitness impacts leadership on many levels, and its effects are always positive.

The Power of Foundational Habits

Leadership coaching exploits the power of habits. Coaches aim to help leaders discover their strengths and weaknesses and build habits that promote positive leadership behaviors. Behavior is only relevant to leadership once it becomes a habit.

Physical exercise is a foundational habit. It starts your day on the right foot and keeps you on track as the hours go by. Intelligent leadership is about making good decisions. Starting your day with a workout routine is one of the best decisions you can make.

A Leader-Like Presence

Being physically fit grants people an attention-grabbing, leader-like presence. Physical fitness translates to feeling comfortable in one’s skin. Some of the benefits of physical fitness concern the visual improvement of one’s physique. When these benefits come together, they allow people to carry themselves in a dignified manner without being smug or arrogant.

Being physically fit also eliminates many of the insecurities we have. A fit person knows how to take care of him or herself. That is another reason why fit people exude confidence and “can do” vibes.

A Source of Energy

One would think that when we engage in vigorous physical activity, we expand energy. We do, but those who had good workouts know physical activity can reenergize us physically and mentally.

A leader’s work seldom entails feats of physical prowess. Sitting all day in front of a computer or at a desk doesn’t do us favors. Physical activity can counteract the damage sedentary work causes and make us feel and work better.

Improving Resilience and the Ability to Focus

Physical activity triggers processes in the body that strengthen muscles and build stamina. It allows us to become closely acquainted with our limits. It lets us prove to ourselves that we can overcome these limits time and again.

Leaders who know their abilities and understand what it takes to overcome limitations are more resilient. They can absorb setbacks better and bounce back stronger and wiser from them.

Resetting our minds is difficult with the distractions we have in our lives. Leaders deal with more distractions and important decisions that require full focus than most of us.

Physical activity gives leaders the chance to disconnect and reset their minds, focusing on something primal and natural.


In addition to improving body image and self-confidence, physical activity teaches the value of discipline, perseverance, and strength. Executive coaching values those qualities highly as they can serve leaders and followers well in life.

physical activity

Physical activity promotes discipline and perseverance. 

Leading by Example

As a leader, you’re an example for your employees and team members. You can be a chain-smoking, stressed-out, trainwreck example, or you can be a balanced and focused entity acting as an island of stability.

Followers tend to copy their leaders’ behaviors. If you’re an emotionally intelligent, balanced, and focused leader who values physical and mental fitness, your followers will strive to be like you. Business coaching appreciates dynamic, engaged, and motivated workforces. Such employees readily embrace change and lend themselves better to organizational scaling.

While physical fitness allows us to function better and provides many leadership benefits, we shouldn’t jump to conclusions based on it. Not every great leader is physically fit, and not every in-shape leader is effective.

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