Articles | 30.11.2021
“Grass is greener where you water it”
What makes a good life? The answer to this question is sought in the Leader 360 leadership program under the guidance of Hintsa Performance coach Heikki Huovinen. Huovinen helps leaders identify their values and motives and build a good life that looks like themselves – and thus achieve better performance.
Heikki Huovinen, who has worked at Hintsa Performance for more than 10 years, has over his career met and coached both Formula 1 drivers and hundreds of company executives.
– I’ve always been interested in people. Not so much in terms of performance, but a good life. But when life is good and balanced, performance also improves, Huovinen summarizes.
His interest in humanity led Huovinen to study exercise physiology at the University of Jyväskylä and later exercise and sports psychology. Holistic thinking is strongly reflected in his way of structuring the world and coaching leaders.
– There is a lot in common in leadership and coaching. That’s why working with executives is interesting and constantly offers something new to me, too.
Huovinen says he has learned a lot about himself along the way: what are his own possibilities, strengths and limitations. Huovinen, a native of northern Finland and a familiar face in international Formula 1 circles, currently lives with his family in Jyväskylä.
– It has been important to realize that the grass is greener where I water it myself. What is close is enough.
Everyone needs to find their own path
Huovinen’s main goal is to guide people to live a healthy life, where values are concretized and form the basis of actions and choices.
– I’m interested in what a good life means for different people. And how I, as a coach, can facilitate the good lives of others, he muses.
Instead of running around after impulses, one should control and direct one’s passion to more meaningful things.
– Anyone can’t be anything, everyone needs to find their own path. You need to recognize your personal aspirations and think about what they say about you. It is good for leaders to ask themselves why they want to lead – and what motives are behind it.
Huovinen emphasizes that no one is condemned for their motives. Everyone needs to be heard with all their feelings and thoughts. It is everyone’s personal responsibility how they want to act on them.
Balance arises from a strong identity
According to Huovinen, leaders, just like anyone else, seek balance in their lives. Quite few, however, stop to think about what it is that creates the balance.
– Balance starts with your own identity. Identity, on the other hand, is strengthened in those areas of life where you spend your time and energy, he says.
If a job or an individual issue takes control of a person’s life, identity is built on it.
– For example, an athlete whose identity is 95% based on sports is constantly under really strong performance pressure: there is only success or failure for them.
A strong identity, on the other hand, is built on several pillars that are unique to each person.
– What you spend time and energy on, affects satisfaction and happiness, and connects to roles and core values. If work takes up 80% of life and the family is left with 10% and the person themselves 10%, is this the situation that anyone really wants? Huovinen asks.
Leader 360 focuses on the wellbeing of the leader
The Leader 360 program, to be piloted during 2022, is a year-long coaching program that provides leaders with wellbeing tools to drive growth.
Huovinen knows that for many leaders, the most important thing is to take a pause and have the opportunity to talk about their lives and structure their thinking. Thanks to peer support, a group discussion is even more rewarding.
– The leader is also a person. They need to find a way to air their feelings. It is important to talk about your own experiences and thoughts. Fear grows in the dark, but the darkness diminishes, and the light brightens as you throw yourself open and share things about your own life, he encourages.
During Huovinen’s Leader 360 Day, participants will be able to take the Better Life self-assessment survey under supervision. Its ultimate purpose is to provoke a conversation with oneself and the group: Have I found a meaningful purpose in my life? What are my values and principles? Where am I in terms of exercise or recovery?
– My job is to support the discussion, show examples and tell stories that help participants realize something new about themselves, Huovinen says.
Leader 360 is a peer network of leaders where each leader’s own wellbeing and ways of managing the work organization are enriched through the expertise of four top experts. The program will be piloted in 2022 with ten leaders and run under the auspices of HHub/Business Jyväskylä, Firstbeat Technologies Oy and SRD Oy/KIHU.
The program is part of the Jyväskylä exercise, health promotion and wellbeing ecosystem. Jyväskylä is a city of human growth that is involved in creating the Nordic HHub ecosystem. HHub focuses on the wellbeing and health of people and communities with the help of the best experts and companies working in the field and promotes exercise as a lifestyle. The goal is to generate new innovations, growth business and create positive effects on people’s wellbeing.