How can you step up your leadership maturity?

Anyone with a leadership drive poses this question constantly. For the face of leadership is changing drastically. Not only because everything happens a lot faster. Our world is increasingly interconnected and new subjects crowd the business and the social agenda. Locally and globally, many actors participate in business and social affairs. And leaders need to balance an exponentially increasing number of interdependencies and a much larger backlog of relational legacy. The Pandemic and now the war in Ukraine is shaking leadership profoundly.

Leading for positive impact, whether in the public or business sector, will be a civilization test. Leading to create a positive legacy is about conscious leadership and is indeed the highest level of leadership maturity. Only 1% of leaders, known as Society Captains, are at this level, an additional 4% of leaders, known as Global leaders, have the potential to grow at this level, followed by another 38% of leaders being transformational and Institution builders.

Developing conscious leadership astuteness is paramount to earning trust and engagement in creating well-being, progress, and peace. Imagine a world where people are led towards a higher purpose, creating economic well-being but also the planet, people, and cultural well-being, meaning quadruple growth.

Getting to that next level of greatness depends on the quality of our consciousness. To nurture the quality of our consciousness means developing our systemic and subtle awareness and converting the deriving insight, hindsight, and foresight into an innovative pursuit to creating quadruple growth, which I call generative growth.

Getting to that next level of greatness, as Judith E Glasser has quoted, “depends on the quality of our relationships, which depend on the intelligence of our conversations”. Strong relationships involve above all TRUST and Equity. To nurture the intelligence of our conversations, so as to create higher levels of trust, engagement, and equity, we need to investigate our patterns of thinking and sense-making and develop healthier inner and outer conversations. We call them generative conversations – conversations of growth, of aspiring and co-creating new and better futures.

The Edelman report on the TRUST Barometer 2022 points out that society has entered the Cycle of Distrust. The trust level in institutions is the lowest ever, vision is blurred and pessimistic, and inequalities are more present than ever. The report also indicates that people are looking towards business organizations to carry the flag of assuring social well-being.

How can business leaders make good use of this confidence vote?

Here few strategies to step up toward higher levels of leadership maturity:

For any of these strategies to work, however, the most challenging job of a conscious leader is to foster a culture of growth mindset, develop intrapreneurship, and quality of connection and empowering that allows for sharing and stretching towards ambitious goals and new realities. In overcoming these challenges, it helps to clarify 3 critical questions:

How do you help your organization deal with the past while building the future? – Our past has deep anchors in us, sometimes scars of pain, sometimes wellsprings of optimism and aspiration.

If we fail to deal with what was painful and traumatic, hate and shame develop. Trauma is transgenerational – when the new context brings back echoes of old trauma, limiting beliefs rule the game and stagnate growth.

If we fail to deal with what has been joyful and victorious, we fail to anchor the values that led to that victory and miss the opportunity to use a positive legacy to nurture us through the challenges of the present.

What kind of game do you want to play: future taker or future shaper? – We hear often that a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous world is here to stay and thus asking people to prepare for disruption, for a fearful and unforeseeable future. But this is an unexamined truth that will ultimately lead to a breakdown. And this is a game in which we are pure future takers – playing an unconcerted game of disruption. This is a future built by triggering our primitive and territorial instincts, playing a defensive – offensive game. Our collective effort to build desired futures – to be future shapers – cannot go amiss if we develop our level of collective consciousness beyond the primitive and rational level of thinking. To be in a future-shaping game we need to honor our vital instincts of connecting and sharing, of being goal-driven and evolution-oriented.

“What mind can conceive, and heart can believe, man can achieve” – goes the old saying. This goes for the good, and this goes for the bad and the ugly. Conscious leaders play a crucial role in guiding people’s minds and hearts toward ends that honor human values. The impact is highest when they role-model it. Because leadership is what we emanate.

What kind of culture do you want to be an enabler of? – The war in Ukraine is menacing social security many folds. Will force and autocracy win? Or will democracy and human values win? The echo of the war will be reflected in the kind of cultures we will be shaping – autocratic vs. democratic cultures. Business, social, and political forces will shift accordingly. This duality of forces that create vs. forces that destruct is as old as mankind, and it is as much an outer duality as it is an inner duality. To succeed in the outer game each of us, and leaders, in particular, will need to succeed in the inner game. This means enhancing systemic awareness, creating clarity of higher purpose, identity, values and virtues, and aligning the outer game accordingly. Building cultures that create a better future for the business, for the people, and the planet, is shaping the future.

I believe that when leaders at any level of maturity would rally behind a higher level of consciousness, organizations would transform into hives of thriving and well-being!

5 Elements Of Wellbeing

At Work That Can Lead To A Thriving Culture

It takes a thriving culture to make a thriving business a business that thrives today and in the long run. We were inspired by the findings of the latest research of Gallup on employee wellbeing, to offer a synthesized summary of the book “Wellbeing at Work How to build resilient and thriving teams” (J. Clifton, J. Harter) and a discussion on how increasing wellbeing at work can yield sustainable positive outcomes beyond the bottom line.

The study indicates that deep down an employee wants a good job that allows them to use their talents every day with a leader who encourages their development. However, only 36% of American workers are engaged, 61% have a greater chance of burnout, and 48% of stress. Validating employee mental health and wellness will soon become a necessity.

The quest for the best life quality guides decision-making. Each person wants to maximize their perception of the best possible life as well as their best day. Both contribute to mental health and optimized performance.

We can improve the performance culture at work, by increasing the level of commitment through the climate of trust that the leader inspires. With Covid-19 and the hybrid work modes, the dimensions of professional and personal life are brought closer together. For this we will have to manage the person as a whole: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

And considering that 50% of our well-being is due to the environment and the decision we take, (epigenetics), hopes are high that better wellbeing and a healthier business can be achieved. Many employers have limited their focus on wellness to encouraging employees to eat healthily and exercise, rather than focusing on the element that matters most career wellbeing. For all the benefits that it offers, it’s time to look at employee wellbeing holistically.

Creating wellbeing at work has a quadruple effect it increases employee productivity and resilience, increases leadership consciousness, increases business resilience and outcomes, and increases society’s wellbeing.

The study identified 5 elements of wellness, in order of importance:

The 5 elements of wellbeing have been shown to have a synergistic effect – they are independent dimensions of life but also interdependent.

Career wellbeing

Engaged employees report a high level of joy and interest and a lower rate of stress and sadness compared to those less engaged.

Many employers have limited their focus on wellness to encourage employees to eat healthily and exercise rather than focus on the most important elements that contribute to workplace wellness – career wellbeing.

What employees dread most are encounters with abusive or indifferent managers, which cause emotional exhaustion and higher rates of active disengagement among their employees. We can solve this problem by dramatically upskilling managers to become highly effective coaches.

A study has shown that when employees perceive that their health and wellbeing at work are well managed within the company, the overall performance of this company increases by more than 2.5 times compared to a company that mismanages its dimensions. Creativity and innovation are also more present. The employees accomplish more productive hours, deliver better results, and feel a positive effect on their personal lives.

To increase career well-being, leaders are encouraged to:

Social wellbeing

Our lives are profoundly shaped by those we spent time with our identity and personal sense of meaning are largely defined by our closest relationships. Without intentional effort to socialize, isolation and loneliness become a big risk. Social isolation and chronic loneliness have a devastating effect on physical and mental health. Social wellbeing is woven into all other aspects of your life, and it changes how you interpret everything around you.

The importance of social dimension within the company is important. People are intrinsically motivated to do much more for their friends. Friendship at work increases the speed of execution and efficiency at work and thus brings more transparency to conversations. If the social environment at work is toxic or without face-to-face interactions, it affects employees’ physical and mental health.

Studies have shown that the well-being of friends and colleagues is a better indicator of joy than the amount of money that is offered to employees. A good day at work for most people requires fulfilling connection with others. Social time in an organization builds the foundation of trust that the organization needs for agility. Although people have different needs and ways to socialize, every individual has the need to feel connected to others. This contributes to the level of engagement, performance, and wellbeing.

To increase social well-being leaders are encouraged to:

Financial wellbeing

Only one in four Americans is financially secure. This means that the vast majority may have a predisposition for daily worries and stress.

Money provides more choice and freedom which ultimately determines the quality of life. The notion of financial wellbeing refers to the notion of security.

Your employees can suffer from financial stress which ultimately affects their health and performance at work. Talking about money is the most avoided manager conversation. When it comes to helping employees feel satisfied with their compensation, an open conversation about pay philosophies, policies, and methods for determining pay is even more important than the actual amount of the salary.

Providing employees with financial advice and resources fosters engagement and demonstrates that you care about their wellbeing. To increase financial wellbeing leaders are encouraged to:

Physical wellbeing

Covid-19 shows that sub-optimal physical conditions can put your employees at risk. An ongoing assessment of your employees’ physical wellbeing is critical to the overall health of your organization. This assessment includes sleep, nutrition, and exercise components.

Sleep is a reset button for mood and immunity. At least 7 hours of sleep, but less than 9 hours, is ideal. 40% of employees are outside this zone and therefore at risk. Good sleep improves employee creativity. The brain uses 20% of our energy and is the only organ that needs sleep to get rid of its waste.

Exercise improves mood, immunity, and learning. A little exercise can increase the level of joy and decrease the level of fatigue, improving the immune system and memory. Time spent outdoors in contact with light can reduce the risk of chronic disease. Physical inactivity is associated with obesity.

Nutrition is an important factor and must consist of as many natural and living foods as possible in order to allow the body to assimilate them better.

To increase physical well-being leaders are encouraged to:

Community wellbeing

Organizations that have a better reputation for their social responsibilities outperform others on financial indicators.

Employees have a greater sense of accomplishment when they feel part of something bigger than themselves. Meaningful work that makes society a better place to live is important for employee wellbeing. People want to know that their lives have an impact that goes beyond just working.

Altruism improves longevity. 9 out of 10 people report emotional gain from giving to others.

Employees want their organizations to be part of a larger mission than simply increasing profits and share value. Those who are thriving in community wellbeing feel safe and secure where they live. They have active lives and are more likely to be engaged at work and have more frequent social interactions.

To increase community wellbeing leaders are encouraged to:

How can we use this insight to create a thriving culture and business? In our next article, we will discuss strategies and recommendations that you can apply right away. Source :  

The Well-Being Path To Establishing A Resilient And Thriving Corporate Culture

3 Leverage Points

Most of the leadership conversations explicitly or implicitly evolve around building a resilient and thriving culture that attracts top talent and brings high energy, innovation, and agility to customer needs in good times and in times of crises. Gallup’s study found out that creating a thriving company culture requires that the employees feel they are treated with respect, they use their talents well, and they see that leaders do what needs to be done.

It requires that executives and managers themselves thrive in all five elements of the wellbeing at work: Career, Social, Financial, Physical Health, and Community wellbeing.

It also requires that they understand that the development of an employee is an end in itself and that the key to changing the culture is to make it easy for employees to experience what is in their best interests: A stimulating and engaging job, Strong and harmonious relationships, Financial security, Good health and a good level of energy, and A physically and humanly safe environment at work.

A resilient culture yields superior performance and is the biggest differentiator in how crises or major disruptions are overcome. Designing and activating a resilient and thriving culture that improves people’s lives and performance requires an approach that goes beyond traditional approaches to wellness.

To start with, it requires attending to the avoidance of the four critical risks:

To this end, Clifton & Harter’s book “Wellbeing at Work – How to create resilient and thriving cultures” directs us to 3 leverage points to create a resilient and thriving culture:

1. Creating a resilient and thriving culture starts with career engagement.

Employee engagement is essential for net thriving and resilient culture. In organizations that achieve three to four times the global average of engaged employees, the following themes are engaged.

Career wellbeing is the foundation for the other well-being elements, and employee engagement is the single biggest driver of career wellbeing.

What influences employee engagement?

Here are the top five engagement items that influence career wellbeing at work identified in Gallup’s research:

Clear expectations are an employee’s most fundamental need. The performance implications are substantial. By increasing the ratio of employees who know what’s expected of them, companies can increase their productivity with 10%. Setting clear goals, providing adequate resources, leading collaborative goals setting, and nurturing collective intelligence are among those practices that, when applied consistently, are deeply gratifying to employees. With only 1 in 2 employees knowing what the organization expects of them, this means that only 50% of employees know their role, and even worse that they are stressed and anxious enough to lose it. Employees who believe their job descriptions are aligned with their work are 2.5 times more engaged than other employees. When leaders and employees define objectives jointly and clarify expectations on both sides, this increases accountability, creativity, and innovation.

When managers position people to use their natural talents and strengths, they get better results. However, only 33% of employees say their jobs allow them to do what they are best suited to do. To give their employees opportunity to do what they do best, thriving companies build and use a scientific job fit system, identify and embrace unique strengths within roles, and give employees challenging assignments that align with their natural abilities.

the development item it is the most important one to get right when building a thriving culture. When people are not growing and developing, their thinking becomes narrow and more self-serving. Two third of people who change jobs change companies rather than find new jobs with their current employer. And the top reason people change companies is a lack of career development. Thriving cultures offer an exceptional development experience by designing a system of mentoring, focusing on goals, using validated manager training and, watch out on burnout.

Feeling like your opinions matter is closely tied to respect. The reverse is a major factor in burnout. There can be no culture of respect in the absence of dialogue between managers and employees. 2/3 of employees who think their opinions count are thriving in their overall lives. The best managers and leaders use their team as an important resource to make better decisions. They encourage dialogue and debate of opinions and create a team culture of problem solvers. Deliberately seeking out employee opinions is essentially important with remote workers.

globally just one in three employees strongly agree that the mission or purpose of the organization makes them feel their job is important to them. If a job were just a job, it really wouldn’t matter where someone worked. People look for their contribution to a higher purpose; employees want to believe in what their employer does. Millennials and Generation Z that in particular, demand purpose-driven, mission-oriented work. Employees want to find meaning, especially when times are tough. Each organization has a well-written mission, but it is the leaders who bring it to life.

2. Managers are the conduit between employee engagement and well-being at work

Ultimately, culture change is the result of messages perceived by employees by the leaders of the organization.

Highly skilled managers are the most important factor for well-being at work. They stand out for high level of attunement to employee strengths and needs for development on one side and organizational (business) objectives and service delivery needs on tha e other side. They are at the forefront of workforce management, and their workforce management effectiveness has a direct influence on business results. The best managers use their team as a key resource for better decision-making. They encourage dialogue and debate and create a team culture of problem-solving. Every company has a mission statement, but it is a manager who makes work meaningful. The best managers deepen a sense of purpose by clarifying the organization’s mission, helping employees see their role in it, and giving them opportunities to talk about it.

The well-being of employees and, by extension, their families are dependent on the effective management of their employees. In Germany and the US, Gallup found that employees who have poor managers or leaders report worse wellness than those who don’t have a job. This is why poorly skilled managers are the greatest risk for employee wellbeing at work, for a resilient and thriving culture. Only 22% of American employees say that the leaders of their organizations have a clear direction, which is a worrying and disengaging sign. Only 27% of employees believe that the values of their organizations are well respected and lived. Only 41% of employees know what differentiates their organizations from others.

Why then don’t all the best-intentioned messages of mission, vision, and values resonate with employees? One word: TRUST. Only 33% of employees agree that they trust the leadership in their organizations. A leader who is inadequately equipped to do his job as a conscious leader appears to be the factor number 1 of a risky organizational culture.

How do thriving cultures grow leaders and managers who are adequately skilled?

They attend to how leaders and managers grow in the organization and support them into developing their coach aptitude. Managers in the absence of coaching don’t make sense. In a foreside conversation during the Future of Leadership Summit this march, Jim Clifton added that leaders and managers need to learn to have the “bold conversations.” If a manager can’t have these bold conversations, they are not managing.

This requires that the leader be able to give regular feedback to employees. Not only adjustments and advice but also inspiration and encouragement. To get to know each of them well, their goals, and their talents. Knowing the strengths and talents of employees is the first step to having a positive and effective one-on-one conversation about wellness with them. Focusing on their strengths and talents is the best and the fastest way to have a productive day built on the well-being of an employee.

When an organization is going through a period of crisis, employees need to look up to leaders to provide a strong signal that there is hope and a clear plan for the future. They need leaders who provide stability in equipping them with what is needed to get through this period, leaders who inform them adequately and therefore contribute to bringing confidence in the organization, and finally, leaders who they provide compassion by demonstrating that they care about the wellbeing of their employees.

Such organizations ensure that they assess their culture from the perspective of the employee experience at each stage of the life cycle: interviews, hiring, onboarding, fostering engagement and performance and departure. Leaders’ capability to create autonomy and integration and to deliver feedback defines largely employee wellbeing at work.

3. Policies and programs send a message of what leadership values in the organization.

Policies, programs, perks send out a message about what leaders value in the organization. Therefore, remote and hybrid work, working hours, use of mobile technology, vacation, diversity & inclusion, ethics & compliance, and wellness programs all work well to the extent that they are conducive what positive values and virtues in the organization.

Simply offering a well-intentioned wellness program does not guarantee improved levels of employee wellness. First of all, employees must be informed of the existence of this program and encouraged to use it.

Although 85% of large companies use a wellness program, Gallup research has shown that only 60% of US employees are aware of such a program and only 40% of those who are aware participate well and truly into this program. In addition, employees engaged in their work are 28% more likely to participate in such a program.

How do we ensure engagement in a wellness program?

When career wellbeing becomes a priority for the conscious leader and the manager, an employee’s trust in management is increased, and the employee is naturally encouraged to work on the other layers of global wellness. We suggest that the manager or the conscious leader could add to the annual evaluation meeting with their employees a part devoted to workplace well-being. This includes a development plan in this direction and the facilitation of resources devoted to well-being. Top talent is attracted to your organizational image and reputation, which motivates them to join. To assure this attraction, leaders and managers must themselves be involved and in harmony with the 5 elements of well-being. In addition, the organization should make alliances with experts such as nutritionists, financial advisors, physical coaches, and sleep specialists and even facilitate the obtaining of biohacking tools and devices. In short, to collect and share the best practices in terms of well-being.

To summarize,

Employee wellbeing is at the heart of building a resilient and thriving culture. It is the expression of talents within the framework of a specific role in the organization that enables employees to achieve wellbeing at work. The best way to do this is for leaders to be able to identify the unique talents of each employee and use them to contribute to their wellbeing. This will allow leaders to discover what interests their employees, what engages and excites them, and what is deemed important and meaningful to them. This requires developing coach-leaders and coach-managers.

Combining career wellbeing, skillful managers and leaders, and workplace wellness are potentially what proves most transformational in the pursuit of employee resilience, mental health, and prosperity. In the age of social media, what happens in an organization quickly spreads and affects your brand reputation and your ability to attract and retain talent and your ability to being resilience and offering great value to your customers in good and in bad times.

As Jim Clifton put it in the Future of Leadership Summit: Your employees are the closest point to the customers and reveal the blind spots in how their organization works. If your organization cares about the customers, it has to show that by caring about its employees’ well-being.

Co-author: Alain Léo Landry, CEO and Founder of Wellnessfinances.

Executive Life Differently

How To Honor The Body When In A High-Stress Position?

Written by: Albana Vrioni, Executive Contributor Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Did you ever consider being an executive and having a sense of flow in your body? Feeling light and pain-free?

For most of my clients, this does not enter their agenda – at best is an afterthought, and at worst it sneaks in when their body pain has put a tax on their executive performance. Suddenly we understand that body and mind are not separate they operate as one system we cannot excel for long in our executive health at the expense of the body’s health. We cannot shine for long when body strength fades away.

And we certainly cannot enjoy the abundance of hard work in an executive career, when our body collapses.

How come brilliant people take their body fitness for granted?

It is a bit like the frog story, which ended up boiling as the temperature of the water raised gradually. Starting with a lot of stamina and resourcefulness, they slip into paying little attention to replenishing their energy in sustainable ways. This is often bound to our mindset, values and beliefs, and the habits we have installed day after day.

What can be done?

I talked with my colleague, Kaley Zeitouni, about what could help you honour your body when in a stressful position. Kaley is an Illness Recovery Coach who used the science of psychoneuroimmunology and mind-body wisdom from many sources to heal after 18 years of living with multiple sclerosis. The work she does with clients to alleviate illness can shed light on helping executives remain healthy while in high-stress positions.

Here is what Kaley shared with me in an interview:

Every change starts with awareness. What should our executive reader
know to elevate awareness of how stress affects the Body?

That’s indeed the very first step for any enduring change to happen. In order
to optimise our performance in a high-stress environment, it’s crucial to understand
how stress affects the body. One of the first things a doctor tells someone newly
diagnosed with neurological or auto-immune disease is “stress can exacerbate
symptoms.” It’s crucial to understand why that’s the case so that someone healthy
can stay healthy even in a stressful environment.

When a person experiences stress, the body releases the stress hormone cortisol. It
does this in order to “help” a person who is in a stressful situation. Our bodies were
built for extreme circumstances, such as a freezing winter in the mountains or being
in the jungle where we might be chased by a lion at any moment. In those situations,
stress is acute and cortisol activates the things we need in order to survive that
specific situation. If we hear a rustle in the bushes and know it might be a lion, the
fear we experience releases cortisol and adrenaline which then cause many
physiological changes, such as increased heart rate. This allows the body to go from
a resting state to running for our lives so that we can escape the lion.

While cortisol and other stress hormones protect us in an acute stress situation like
the one above, they wreak havoc on the body when they are continuously released.
Research shows that chronic stress, in other words, the ongoing release of cortisol
and other stress hormones, leads to pain, inflammation, digestive problems, vision
problems, sleep disturbance and so much more. In my work, I have yet to find an
executive who isn’t experiencing some of these issues, even if it’s just headaches.
Scientifically speaking, the body is doing what it’s “supposed to do” under the
circumstances so any symptoms are a result of how the body is naturally built.

So chronic stress is the mechanism that turns stress from vital to threatening
to our well-functioning. Since our readers are not about to leave their jobs, is
knowing this even helpful?

I hear you, it’s a bit oxymoronic for us to even have this conversation, Albana.
Thousands of studies show us what happens to every system in the body while
under stress, or what we call “fight or flight”. And the result is pretty serious. To
consider how to maintain peak performance and health while in a high-stress
position would seem impossible when we look at the science. That said, I’ve been in
this field long enough to know that anything is possible and I’m living proof of that. I
was working an 80 hr/week job when I began my healing journey. Once you know
the facts it might feel like an uphill battle but it is possible to maintain health with bite-
size tools that are easy to implement.

So, I hear you saying that knowing how this mechanism works helps us to
adjust our response to stress triggers and have control over its impact. What would
this conscious adjustment consist of?

Indeed. And it would essentially require looking at it as if we’re going on a
mission of making your body your best colleague. Here are the first four steps I
recommend for this mission:

1. Get Your Body On Board

It sounds strange but you need to think of your body as a separate entity with its own needs and desires. You and your body are a team. When beginning a new project with your business partner, you would talk through your vision, goals, distribution of work etc. You would talk it through to ensure you are on the same page. You need to do the same with your body.

Talk through any upcoming stressors, give the body a heads up and especially let it know how long to expect to be running on all cylinders.

An essential part of getting your body on board with your aspirations is to connect to your why. Your “why” needs to be something that is also meaningful to the body. (Trust me, I understand how weird this sounds but it has changed so many lives that it’s worth it!) Your body represents the deepest part of you.

Having massive wealth is not a motivator for the body. The kind of “why” that will inspire your body to work with your needs to be something deeper and connected to sense of purpose and personal mission. It might be something like “improving access to higher education for the low-income communities,” “advancing the way we use technology so that people have more time with family,” “being a symbol of female empowerment for young women.” Keep your body in the conversation of your vision and goals, and make sure your goals are aligned with your higher purpose.

For example, I had a client Sarah, a high performing executive who after maternity leave started having terrible migraines when considering going back to work. She loved her job but her body was telling her something. After a few sessions, we realised she wanted to work for herself and serve as a consultant to executives rather than by the executive. Her body calmed down when she got aligned with her higher truth. She stopped having migraines and still got to have a fulfilling career.

Remember to also thank your body when it does work well and allow you to live your mission!

2. Regularly Reset your Nervous System

Remember how the rustling of the bushes sends the signal to the body that we’re being chased by the lion? So does a tough conversation with your boss, or the stressof an upcoming deadline. You don’twant your body to interpret each of these moments throughout your workday as a life-threatening threat. In order to reduce the stress response from these triggers, and avoid being in “fight or flight” you need to reset the nervous system a few times a day.

The easiest way to do this is with a few slow deep breaths. Put your hands on your stomach, covering the bottom of your rib cage. Breathe slowly and feel the ribs and lungs expand. Slowly and fully empty the lungs when you exhale, squeezing the abdomen to really empty out. Doing this a few times activates the vagus nerve which is responsible for the “rest and digest” system of the body. You might be thinking that you don’t have time to pause and do this. It takes 60 seconds to reset the nervous system and if you don’t take that 60 seconds at least once a day now, your body will force you to pause for much longer than that later. According to a 2019 study,  almost 50% of executives in Canada were diagnosed with a chronic condition. While that isn’t more than the average population, executives also have a much higher need for optimum health making it even more important that you work with your body so that it will work with you.

This type of practice seems small but made all the difference for Lisa; a professor at a top university in the US who found herself in the ER with neurological symptoms. She reached out to me during her diagnostic process and immediately started implementing tools to calm down the nervous system. She has regained all of her abilities (she couldn’t walk or use her hands), avoided a diagnosis, and was recently promoted to Director of her department. By ensuring she keeps her nervous system balanced throughout the day, she is achieving her dreams while maintaining her vitality.

3. Focus the Mind

As an executive, you are holding many plates in the air at once. While this makes you good at your job, it takes a severe toll on the body. The brain generates new cells and activates repair in the body when the mind is clear and calm. This does not mean you have to think about anything. It means you have to focus on one thing. When we focus our mind on one item at a time, the brain has space to work at optimum capacity. This is why people who meditate report more efficient workflow and increased decision-making ability. A great way to achieve this in your work life is to be intentional about each thing you do. Before the meeting set your intention for the meeting. For example, My intention is to be fully present and keep everyone engaged in a way that they bring their best ideas to the table. That means you aren’t in the meeting thinking about the 10 things you need to do after the meeting. You are solely focused on the topic of the meeting during the meeting. Do this for each segment of your day and you will see your life change, your  work improves, and of course, your body relax.

4. Un-stuck Your Feelings

The body stores every feeling we have unless we process it in a healthy way. Executives are masters at hiding emotions and compartmentalising. We pride ourselves on it. I remember being proud of how I could hide my emotions during an important meeting. Today my clients would laugh reading that knowing how detrimental that is to the system. Because any feeling we don’t process gets stored
in our cells and if it builds up, there’s no telling what can happen. That doesn’t mean you need to have a breakdown at the Board meeting. It means you need a safe space to feel your feelings in a healthy way. Somatic techniques are usually the most effective, so I recommend finding a local practitioner. That hour a week could actually save your life, and certainly your career.

To the busy entrepreneur or executive who is trying to keep a company moving full speed ahead, it can feel overwhelming or impossible to make the above shifts. But if you don’t make the small changes now, the body is likely to force bigger changes upon you later. For, it’s only when body, mind and soul are aligned that we can live purposefully and have enduring success. Implementing these tools is about getting your body on board with your career. It can be tough to get started so having someone to coach you will hold you accountable. The sooner you can learn to work in flow with your body, the more chances you have of preventing disease and accomplishing your goals. If you are already experiencing symptoms, you will need to make bigger changes than these bite-size tools. Taking a more thorough and integrated approach will allow you to achieve your dreams and restore your health I recommend Kaley’s program Get Your Body Back at I know how important it is to feel purposeful and accomplished. In closing, Kaley shared that she firmly believes that when it’s done right, you can fulfil your ambitions and have health.