Parallels between Body & Biz Fitness
You may have seen her: the strong, well-built, self-assured business leader strutting onto the stage to deliver a dynamic keynote to a packed conference hall. Beneath that well-cut suit is a woman who clearly works out.
Why is it that many of the people who lead top companies appear to be in great physical shape?
Perhaps the question should be: Why do many successful business leaders also exude physical prowess and health?
It’s not just coincidence.
The connections between how you take care of your body and the way you nurture your business are too close and too important to ignore. The physical entity we call a ‘ human body ‘ and the legal entity we call a ‘ company ‘ are both vehicles that allow you to reach an end result. They are both cohesive networks of systems with rules and optimum conditions for success (read: health). And they both respond to your leadership.
So how can you leverage information gleaned from your body to improve your businesses?
In my experience over the years of working with women entrepreneurs to build good health, their energy levels and self confidence there are 3 keys that I would like to share with you.
Key 1 = Strategy.
Like companies, bodies vary by shape and size, strengths and weaknesses and overall health and vigor. It’s critical for you to be aware of your body’s – – and company’s — unique characteristics and needs. Use strategy in thought and action to achieve the results you seek.
When you approach your body from the point of view of strategy, you’re thinking about the best moves to strengthen it and avoid injury as well as the most nutritious foods for nourishment and health. You want results without side effects.
When you approach your business strategically, you’re considering the optimal ways to position it as unique and valuable, the most effective tools and systems to drive innovation and support vital processes, and the best ways to avoid problems.
In both cases, it’s important to be creative and nimble.
Key 2 = Energy.
A critical yet often overlooked force for success, energy powers everything we do. And a high level of energy can drive greater productivity; clearer, more creative thinking and a host of other things critical for building a business.
Make maintaining your physical health a non-negotiable priority. Just as physical activity can improve brain function, inactivity has an equally tangible opposite effect, according to new research.
One study, published recently in The Journal of Comparative Neurology, found that a lack of physical activity in rats increased their risk for heart disease and altered the structure and operation of the brain. Inactivity caused the neurons to over stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and made the animals lethargic.
Key 3 = Time.
Another element bound up in the quest for success is time. No one ever feels they have enough, but some people excel at exercising time management to their personal and professional advantage. Among the most ambitious, driven people are the ones rising earlier and exercising more. Publications including Entrepreneur have written about the fitness habits of successful people, such as President Barack Obama.
But this is not about simply setting your alarm clock earlier and upping your bench press another 20 kg. It’s about prioritization and efficiency, consistency and discipline — and passion.
Time is a precious and non-renewable asset; use it well. When you’re in a fitness session, be mindful not to waste time on exercises that won’t produce the desired results.
Apply that same thinking to business. Out of the 50 tasks you need to accomplish at work, determine which will give you the highest yield, both in the short and long term. Tackle those first. This approach is also important for your business goals.
Above all, enjoy the process. Identify the one physical move and the one task in business that gives you the most joy. Then strategise to use these favorite activities to help you reach your goals faster and become stronger.
The principles upon which you can build a stronger, healthier body are the same ones that can help you build a lasting and vibrant business. Live by those principles and perhaps it will be you up there on that public stage next.
Energy is crucial to success. But energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be transferred from one form to another. The body requires emotional energy, spiritual energy, cognitive energy and physical energy to be truly vitalized.
Also business owners want to see their business flourish for many, many years in the future. A lazy couch potato life will shorten their life span and leave the company vulnerable for someone else to run.
You need your mind sharp – physical activity gives you a boost in energy. Another big factor is the feeling of accomplishment after finishing a work out. This can carry you throughout the day.