Leading By Example

self care isn t selfish signage

Regardless of what stage you’re in your career, know that you are the future of the PR profession.

People look up to us to set an example. They look at every move we make. They analyze every email we send, how we lead meetings, and overall, how we conduct ourselves and treat others.

While we don’t know exactly how our work environment will evolve over the next year or decade, one thing will always be consistent: our need to be mentally and physically fit to lead. 

Staying fit is essential to have the energy to build trust and rapport with your teams, which will increase respect, understanding, communication, and ultimately acting as trusted advisers to help your organizations meet their business objectives.

Staying connected with your employees will boost morale. It will help bring a human side to you and ultimately help grow those professionals to see you as the people they want to become.

Here are my three recommendations on how to do so. 

1. Analyze how you’re engaging with your teams and adjust as needed. 

Often, we revert to all-staff meetings in which we stand in front of a podium (virtual or physical) and deliver remarks. 

As we evolve in this new era, identify ways to connect with your teams beyond one-to-many engagements. Ask your teams regularly to what degree they feel connected with you and each other. 

2. Show your team how you’re staying mentally and physically fit and making yourself a priority. 

If you’re a leader today, it wasn’t because of luck — it was in part because you’ve understood how to prioritize your mental and physical health. 

Many of you have established nutrition, mindfulness and physical health habits. Whether it’s going to yoga, using an at-home spin bike, hiring a personal trainer or nutritionist, many of you are investing in yourself. Share those stories with your team. Talk with your team about how you prioritize your health and wellness, especially if you’re using your company’s benefits in doing so. 

3. Open up. 

As many professionals are examining their personal and professional lives in the post-pandemic era, this is an opportunity to reconnect with your teams, show your vulnerable side and empower your team and give them the time to do so. 

Doing so will lead them to understand how important they are to you and ultimately show them how to treat their teams when they become managers and executives. 

And ideally, you’re spending time with them in a way that positively impacts mental and physical health. Virtual walk and talk meetings are a great way to stay active with your team.

Think about how you prioritize yourself to grow in your career, then pass that message along to your teams, and empower them to do the same. 

About the Author
About the Author

Mark Mohammadpour, APR is a strategic communications executive, certified personal trainer, and health coach. His company, Chasing the Sun, offers health coaching tailored for public relations professionals. Mark spent most of his public relations career at Weber Shandwick and Edelman. Throughout his career, Mark led integrated communications programs for more than a dozen global brands, including Adobe, AMD, Microsoft, Samsung, and the U.S. Army. Mark also served as the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Oregon Chapter president in 2016.

Published by Mark Mohammadpour, APR, CPT, CHC (he/him)

An accredited communications executive and certified health coach and personal trainer, Mark Mohammadpour’s (he/him) mission is to empower public relations professionals to prioritize their well-being so they can shine in the family room and the board room. Mark started a journey that led him to lose and keep off more than 150 pounds more than a decade ago. Through that journey, he has developed a practical and actionable approach to help people stay mentally and physically resilient. Before launching Chasing the Sun, Mark was an executive at Weber Shandwick and Edelman, leading award-winning public relations campaigns for global brands, including Adobe, Microsoft, Samsung, and the U.S. Army. Mark served as the PRSA Oregon Chapter president in 2016, is the “Workplace Wellness” columnist for PRSA’s Strategies & Tactics, and was honored to be named an Olga M. Haley Mentorship Award of Distinction recipient in 2020. A proud and lifelong Portland, Oregon-metro area resident, Mark is a graduate of the University of Portland.

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