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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Palmer

Healthy Leadership

Health. I woke up in the middle of the night (not unusual) and read Katie Couric’s first-hand account of her breast cancer diagnosis. She is a master storyteller and recounted, in great detail, her routine mammogram, ultrasound, biopsy, cancer diagnosis, and treatment. It is the story of one in eight women. It is an all too familiar story. I am a one in eight.

I am struck by two business angles of Katie’s story: her influence and how healthcare is a leadership topic.

We hear the term influence marketing all the time: ‘influencers’ who drive consumption, trends, pop culture. In this case, Ms. Couric is truly using her influence for good. Like her on-air colonoscopy years ago after the loss of her first husband, Katie is not shying away from sharing her personal experience to drive screenings and better outcomes for her sphere of influence. She is hoping to improve the health of anyone who hears her story and acts to get a mammogram, request (heck demand) a breast ultrasound, and follow up on their preventative care. This is truly the influence that I hope anyone with a following can activate for causes, community, well-being for all.

In posting this article on LinkedIn this morning, I reflected on how I believe healthcare is intertwined with leadership.

Leaders lead by example. Be an example for your teams and your families by making (and keeping) your healthcare screenings.

Leaders use data to make decisions. Screenings provide data on which you can make informed decisions for your health, treatment, and care.

Leaders prioritize the work worth doing. Physical and mental health are worth our time and attention. Leaders have the ability and responsibility to prioritize healthcare, along with the business of the business, for themselves and their employees.

Leaders determine health outcomes. Corporate leaders have the ability to choose health benefits for their employees. Providing health care that includes wellness screenings literally saves lives; lives of the employees you care so deeply about and who work so hard for you.

How will you lead? How will you use your influence to assure that those you care about – including your teams, family and friends – see you as a role model for proactive healthcare? This is one fight where we can all be allies.

If you are due or late for a screening, please schedule today. This is a task with a due date and deserves to be prioritized. Lead by example.

Katie, here’s to your continued good health and the undoubted influence your vulnerability will have on screenings and outcomes for your readers and followers.

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