CEOs face many challenges as we head into 2016; from healthcare reforms, to going online, state regulations, workplace diversity, global operations and retaining top talent. However, one of the biggest challenges of all concerns you as the CEO. Are you firing on all cylinders or close to burnout?
In an article in the Wall Street Journal, Dr Srini Pillay, who conducted a study of burnout among senior leaders, states, “Burned-out bosses complain of lost focus and mental clarity, and feelings that they're always behind.”
While the spotlight remains on employee retention, leadership vitality is increasingly minimised, and the ‘grin and bear it’ mentality often overrides senior leaders’ personal wellbeing priorities.
CEOs can get back in the driver’s seat and bring both their business and personal vitality to life by embracing these 3 pillars of ultimate vitality:
- Fresh perspective
- Fresh air
- Fresh food
1. Fresh perspective
If you want your workforce, teams and business to be healthy and sustain performance levels, then you must lead by example. It’s time to throw out the old habits of ‘first in last out’ of the office, and long board meetings, and focus on quality use of time instead. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How are you and your teams utilising your time?
- What part of the day do you do your best thinking?
- When do you have the most energy?
- What hours does the business operate in its best capacity, and when is the ‘down time’?
- How can you run your executive meetings differently?
Sit down with a small core team and figure out the ways you can run your day to truly improve the pace, vision and scope of your role. This will benefit your organisation, and give you the time to recharge and bring balance back into your life.
Implement, review, and revise your perspective every 90 days until you feel you have the right combination.
2. Fresh air
The best ideas come when you’re providing the space to let them occur. Get outside! Change your meeting locations for ‘walk and talk’ sessions with direct reports for example. Regular fresh air intervals during office hours, and taking your fitness outdoors before you start your day, has immediate benefits.
- Are you making daily exercise, health and wellbeing a priority?
- Keep your health and wellbeing sessions transparent in your agenda
- Stick to your scheduled times
- Keep your word to others
- Make it count—don’t plan fitness into the busiest part of your day.
- Pack your fitness gear when you go on business trips and get up 45 minutes earlier to fit some exercise into your day before the agenda kicks off. Apply the 1% rule to get started: 15 minutes of your day dedicated to something around fitness.
3. Fresh food
Food fuels your brain, impacts on your mood and provides your body with the energy to operate at your personal best. One of the key values you can add to your life is simply good food. No exceptions.
A ‘fitpreneur’ is a leader who looks healthy, engages in healthy habits, and treats their body with respect. This means choosing what you eat and how you fuel your mind.
- No empty calories: Limit dressings, fried foods and dark spirits. Avoid artificial sugars and processed foods that aren’t fresh.
- Hydrate: Ensure that fresh, filtered water is always available to you
- Get your PA or team to ensure that catering at meetings is healthy and includes sustainable brain food, instead of sugary snacks, sweets and soft drinks.