Perhaps you’ve heard Arianna Huffington’s most recent monologue on success: The apogee of achievement should not to be defined by that quintessentially capitalistic combo of money and power. Sure, success as defined by money and power might be macho. It might lead to a bigger bank account. But at what cost? Huffington, in Chicago recently to give the keynote at the “Women in the Forefront” luncheon organized by The Chicago Network, argues for a third success metric beyond money and power. Well-being. Not that money and power don’t contribute to success. It’s just that without physical and mental well-being—the “third leg of the stool,” as she calls it—we put our health in danger. Without that third leg we risk toppling over, as Huffington literally did back in 2007, when she collapsed from exhaustion, only to awake in a pool of her own blood.
I have to agree with Huffington, the Chair, President and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post. Particularly, those of us in business tend to lavish rather irrational praise on over exuberant workaholics (I mean the indefatigable 24/7 kind of work fiend). Pulling an all-nighter is held in high esteem by too many colleagues and bosses. Sleep is somehow undermined. It’s considered a sign of weakness. And that’s not only silly, it’s downright unhealthy. So, to her credit, ever since her fall, Huffington has been evangelizing on the benefits of sleep (the 8-hours-a-night, plus a mid-day nap kind of sleep). She’s not espousing laziness, as the modern-day, work-life imbalanced employee might think. The fact is, it is when we are well rested that we are at our best. That’s when we make the best decisions. After all, as Huffington told the Chicago crowd, “we should pay employees for their judgment, not their stamina.” To see Ms. Huffington express her views on the value of sleep, check out the TED video above.