How To: Combine Leadership and Mental Health


This week Sallie Jones, the amazing Australian dairy farmer, pitches in on how to be a leader who’s aware of mental health. As we learned last week, Sallie has experience both in leadership and in working with mental health, so why not have the dynamo that is this woman show us how we can learn from her success in this crucial area?

1. Perspective.
“Wake up every morning and make the choice to be above the line, and when I say above the line, I mean to choose to see your life as half-full rather than half-empty because you can’t lead people or your community if you’re not fully mentally and physically well.”

2.  Reaction.
“We talk about emotional health—and I know for myself I have to check in daily about—I’ve got a choice about how I react to this situation and always, always, take the positive one. If you’re getting criticism and if the world is caving in on you, always respond with the positive, never attack back with the negative because negative and negative—I’m not good at chemistry but it doesn’t end well. We have a choice on how we respond and as a leader we have to take responsibility on that, and just by how you respond to a negative situation can change the whole vibe of what you’re dealing with.”

3. Differentiate.
“Whatever is going on in your head, look above. You don’t always have to respond to what is going on inside. Sometimes it is about putting on a brave face, and sometimes it’s about being honest in your inner circle. I had a boss once [who] said, ‘Sallie, as a leader you never ever ever admit to being tired, because your team will then also all feel tired. So, as a leader, we need to project energy, enthusiasm, and passion, and never admit tiredness.’ But, it’s also very important to have people in your inner circle and your inner sanctum that you can be very honest with. It’s about having space and time for reflection. Sometimes I have to spend two days in bed on the weekends every few months, just to recalibrate my life and process all of the stuff that’s going on.”

Once again, Sallie Jones shows that success and mental health are not mutually exclusive, but that rather they should be pursued in tandem. Thanks for the tips, Sallie! Come back next week to learn about a badass woman in California who is decolonizing the spice industry.