Career Psychology: Fit Conveys Competence
Staying fit matters more than just being healthy. Leadership experts and executive recruiters say that the career psychology of being trim is of high importance when gunning for top level positions.
New career psychology research indicates that having a few extra pounds can affect other’s perception of their leadership ability. According to the Wall Street Journal, executives with larger waistlines and higher body-mass-index (BMI) readings tend to be perceived as less effective in the workplace, with both interpersonal relationships and performance.
The underlying concern in the research is stamina. A heavy executive is seen as less capable because their weight could affect their health and stamina. Weight was found to be an influencing factor among perceptions between subordinates, peers, and superiors.
Part of the scrutiny could be due to the increased visibility of top level executives. High profile CEOs are much more visible than their forbears and oftentimes become highly public, recognized figures. This also subjects them to more scrutiny, health being one of them.
Health concerns are a huge force in the workplace. Rising healthcare costs, reform, increasing obesity rates, and heightened risk of heart disease has propelled health concerns into the spotlight.
It all adds up to an overall image that executives project. Companies and employees want leaders with physical endurance and the energy to tackle the difficult job of running a company. Exercise can help them handle the intense hours, and travel schedule Top leadership are taking health concerns seriously. Leadership training programs instruct candidates to carve out time each week to exercise.
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