Why are so many CEOs I work with struggling to find that perfect balance – that trifecta of leading from within, leading by example and, ultimately, leading others in the importance of business and personal vitality combined?
The challenge is the unwritten old-school rule of working yourself to the bone, often unsuccessfully balancing work and home life and the stresses that come with corporation responsibilities – jam packed agendas and high demands on your time. Long hours, large financial decisions and commitments to industry social events and activities make constant withdrawals on the Bank of Personal Vitality and Wellbeing. Approximately one-third of adult life is spent at work and I’m sure that will rise in the future.
If you’re at the top of your company or organisation, then chances are you’re at the top of your game and realistically your personal health and wellbeing reflect the role you have as a leader. The ‘Australian Workplace Wellness Survey’ stated the challenge for employers is to take a strategic and measurable approach to human capital.
The key to effective investment in workplace wellbeing, however, is first to ensure corporate that the culture is demonstrated and actioned right from the top – at board level. This does not have to be expensive or dramatic, but rather a case of individual connection to the importance of integrating business and personal vitality. My biggest advice is to make wellness ‘business as usual’ and integrate it by example within your teams, direct reports and the culture you create.
Here are five quick tips to bring your business and personal vitality to life as a CEO and leader:
- A fresh perspective
Out with the old and in with the new. Time for a fresh mindset of what health and fitness really mean and how you create your personal best. Look at the exercise you love, healthy food you enjoy, and bring more of that into your week. No strict diets, fad gym regimes or long workout sessions. Tailor your wellbeing to smart effective workouts, a fresh look at dining out, and managing your ‘time out’ for creativity and relaxation.
- Plan your winning week
Design your agenda. Plan health and fitness upfront. I coach the Five Elements Of A Winning Week™:
- Fitness and wellbeing.
- Admin and productivity.
- Friends (choose whom you spend your time with wisely since you have so little of it).
- ME time.
(The sixth pillar is ‘giving back’.)
To achieve a true combination of business and personal vitality, your week needs to be made up of all of these pillars. However, to kick start the most important, it’s time to think like an athlete. The fast pace most senior executives, entrepreneurs and CEOs operate in takes a game plan, enormous energy and the ability to think on your feet.
- Lead from within
Practise what you preach before you ask it of others. Drop the need for one-hour workout sessions and aim for consistency and practically. Be transparent with your planning in your agenda, and don’t apologise for making your health and wellbeing a priority. Remove the grand gestures of twice yearly charity runs and add value by consistent smaller goals for you and even your leadership team. Integrate a wellbeing culture that fits your organisation. Stock the fridge and office lunches with fresh, healthy choices. The small tips all add up to better results.
- Lead by example
Performance-based KPIs that encompass a culture of health, wellbeing and accountability are highly effective. Run your body like a business: your Vitality Bank™ balance sheet. Balance your withdrawals with positive deposits into your health, wellbeing, strategic time and business. Top up your Vitality Bank and that of your organisation by increasing the amount of nutritious smart-food choices available, integrate fresh air regularly into your day and hire a trainer, if you need to, who comes to your office.
- 5. Be accountable
Life has no remote control: get up and make the changes yourself. You’re smart, intelligent and probably fantastic at what you do for others/in business. So stop looking outside for the solutions and get back to basics. Do regular exercise and understand your body – where are your strengths and where are your weaknesses? Start working on your weaknesses and bring balance back, physically and mentally. YOU are now your new project.
Get inspired and supported by programs and people, but ultimately it’s your responsibility to have the body and the life you love. You will perform better and provide a leading example to those around you.
Nikki Fogden-Moore specialises in working with CEOs, entrepreneurs and high achievers in creating the life they want. She divides her time between private coaching, corporate vitality, boardroom and bespoke retreats, workshops and presenting. For more information visit www.thevitalitycoach.com.au or contact [email protected]