Decisive turn…

by Therese Johansson

It was a Sunday evening in November, the year was 2008. I packed my suitcase for my departure to Switzerland, set the clock for 4:00 a.m. and went to bed. At two in the morning I wake up from the whole roof spinning at a furious speed and I have to put my feet down on the floor, unfortunately it didn't help. Because this was the night I got to start the journey back from exhaustion to wellness. It was time for me to realize, understand and accept that what got me HERE, pathogenesis/illness, would not get me WHERE I wanted to be, salutogenesis/health.

Feel meaningful

Was it only work that caused my exhaustion? My answer will be no, the answer is that I did not have all the tools to ensure my well-being. My then very competent managers also did not have the tools to ensure that I was a sustainable and prosperous resource. Some of them tried to slow my progress but I was a stubborn winner who refused to give up, let alone fail. A leader needs to have the competence, see the context and feel meaningful in order to develop and lead himself. This is to have the understanding of what it takes to lead others. Leading people requires a trust and confidence capital, if we are to gain followers, we need to demonstrate that we are reliable to follow, according to the expression "walk the talk".

Salutogenic leadership, the theory of "Kasam"

Aaron Antonovsky is known for his theory "kasam" which involves the sense of context. This is divided into three areas; Comprehensibility – Manageability – Meaningfulness. It is important that we create awareness of how we as leaders create comprehensibility for the assignment and ensure that the resource feels that they have the right conditions to handle the assignment. As a leader, if you can draw attention to and make these three areas visible, YOU create the opportunity for a positive impact on people's experience. This in turn creates job satisfaction, well-being and motivation which generates meaningful – Salutogenic leadership. Some thoughts for you to reflect on are how you achieve better results in both soft and hard values, e.g. work environment and "the number on the bottom line", by developing your leaders in this matter.

Leadership to new heights

For me, finding the way back to well-being was incredibly tough, requiring exploration and development of many "pieces of the puzzle". The journey was complex but if we don't start how will we get to the goal. No evil that has no good in it, with this experience I have taken leadership to new heights. Today, I have a great focus on my individual leadership, this to ensure my sustainability. Sounds simple but oh so hard…