Over the past 5 years I’ve increasingly been focused on the role of wellbeing and resilience for great leadership.
You sleep well and are well rested, so then you make smart choices about what you eat and drink, and then you have the energy to move and exercise, and then your body and brain are at their best, working together to support optimal performance so you can achieve outcomes that matter.
When we take care of ourselves physically, there’s a carry-over impact mentally and emotionally.
It’s a virtuous cycle. When we take care of ourselves physically, there’s a carry-over impact mentally and emotionally. We are better able to pay attention to the wealth of data available to us – to our experiences and the physical and emotional feelings we have, to what is going on for others in our family or teams, to what’s happening in our environment. And we are better able to turn these signals into insights that lead to ideas and vision, intentions and plans, questions and choices, and decisions and actions. Bottom line: we awaken to the opportunities before us and are best equipped to seize them.
My team creates leadership experiences for managers and executives. We’ve created online self-paced learning modules and delivered in-person learning events that deepen leader’s appreciation for the importance of taking care of themselves so they show up at their best and deliver amazing results.
There’s no better way to learn the true value of something than to actually experience it.
While it’s important to learn the facts about how something works and to understand its scientific underpinnings, there’s no better way to learn the true value of something than to actually experience it. Someone can tell you the importance of movement for fueling your creativity and show you all the physiological connections, however, it’s not until you actually move and notice its effect on your thinking that you’ll be inspired to move as a strategy for getting your ideas flowing.
Below I’ve captured some approaches we’ve been using to create a more holistic experience for our leaders.
The Overall Experience
- Starting and stopping meetings at times that allow for eating, exercise and recovery time
- Honoring mid-morning, lunch, and mid-afternoon breaks where nutritional food and healthy liquids are available and there’s time to move around the building or environs
- Offering a quiet room and hosting morning yoga and mindfulness sessions
- Offering group walks and morning bootcamp exercise sessions
- Providing optional 1:1 and group coaching for fitness, nutrition, and leadership
- Hosting healthy receptions and interactive dinners that allow people to decompress together as they appreciate good food
- Posting inspirational quotes around the venue to open thinking, offer fresh perspective, shift mindset
During the Sessions
- Beginning sessions with a clear sense of purpose and storytelling to create personal connection
- Applying design thinking and other interactive strategies that engage everyone, get them up and moving and interacting
- Checking in on energy level throughout, incorporating stretching and movement to keep minds active
- Building in pauses to reflect on our personal experience, consider learning, identify decisions, commit to actions, celebrate accomplishments, for example
Think about your day as an experience. Are there any of these approaches you could apply to your work and life? Are you planning your day so you have time for what’s important? Are you taking breaks, eating nutritious food, moving and exercising, feeling energized, socializing, interacting and engaging, reflecting on your experiences, finding purpose, staying inspired, feeling energized, celebrating your accomplishments? What one thing could you start today to create more of what you want?
Try a little “experiential experimentation” and give something new a try.
If you identify anything you do in your work and life that we might translate to our leadership experiences, I’d love for you to share!
* I took the photo during a morning run along country roads when staying at the Double JJ Ranch near Rothbury, Michigan.