You may be ready to do some hiking on your vacation to Yosemite, and no one would say you are out of shape when it comes to hitting your goals at the office.
But are you fit to lead?
It may have been a few years since performance psychologist Jim Loehr and The Energy Project’s president, Tony Schwartz, wrote “The Making of a Corporate Athlete” for Harvard Business Review, but their findings and advice may be even more relevant today than when the magazine rolled off the presses.
Use their insight to take a temperature check on your leadership health:
Do you have clear work-life boundaries? Good sleeping habits and healthy eating routines do matter. Ditto physical activity and time in your routine for hobbies, relaxation and family. When it’s all work and no play, even the best executives are vulnerable to erratic energy levels, wide mood swings, and difficulty concentrating.
Coaching can help you establish the rituals you need to create balance.
What are you angry about right now? Or anxious about, frustrated with, impatient over, afraid of, resentful toward, sadden by – negative emotions drain energy, no matter how you phrase it. They are a recipe for a toxic stew that elevates your heart rate and blood pressure, increases muscle tension, constricts your vision and sabotages your performance.
Name your stress reliever. If you had five minutes right now to do whatever you please, what would you reach for? Your body’s hormone, glucose and blood pressure levels drop roughly every 90 minutes. If you don’t take five-minute breaks to drink some water, move your muscles, listen to a favorite song on your smartphone, flip through vacation photos on your laptop, you may be headed for a breakdown.
Leaders are the approachable folks in the room.
What does your body language say? Athletes know that carrying themselves confidently eventually bleeds into true confidence. As a leader, are you following the same “as if” stance?
Do you focus on the right things? Focus, Loehr and Schwartz maintain, is energy concentrated in the service of a particular goal. Many leaders understand how to relax. Many of us have experienced that light-bulb moment, that perfect solution we were searching for, while doing something mindless and unrelated, so we know the concept is solid.
But are you applying these techniques effectively? If, for instance, you’re trying to master your goals via brute force, there’s room to use your focus to achieve and spend fewer hours at work too.
Do you value yourself? If your career doesn’t tap into your deepest values and create a strong sense of purpose, you’re missing out on one of the greatest benefits of leadership. That’s because a spiritual connection, if you will, is what motivates humans to change and grow. Not to mention it provides the “why” in “why get out of bed today?”
It’s a lot of work to form these habits and keep these areas in tune. Thankfully, coaching provides the helping hand that enables you succeed!
Learn more about how coaching can provide the lift that your career, and you, need. Reach out to IOCI today.
Marialane Schultz is the founder of IOCI. She helps individuals and organizations perform at their best, do meaningful work and be impactful through customized coaching and consulting engagements.