Whether you’re at the height of your career as the CEO of a multibillion-dollar venture or you’re on your way to making the dedicated decades-long climb to the top, your overarching attitude towards wellness could be the thing that makes or breaks your career.
Worth US$4.5 trillion in 2018, the global wellness industry has soared in popularity, and for good reason – it is the wholesome tool for lifelong success.
Leading the way in the nourishing act of forming health habits (some as ultra-luxe as massages and facials) to prevent illness and fuel your body towards optimum functionality, it’s no wonder Australia’s leading wellness brand SWIISH is thriving.
Fronted by successful investment banker turned television presenter turned business owner Sally Obermeder and her sister Maha Corbett, who spent 15 years at the height of HR at JPMorgan, SWIISH has soared since its inception nine years ago.
“You can lose top-performing executives to unexpected illness – not only are they unprepared, so is your business.” – Tory Archbold
After recovering from a number of surgeries following her diagnosis of an aggressive form of breast cancer, Sally called her younger sister with the ingenious business idea from her hospital bed.
What began as a blog quickly transformed into a wellness and fashion company, starting with the shining star of the brand – green smoothies.
“We understood the complete power that came from a smoothie,” Sally shares. “If you can get that from one small drink a day, imagine what else can happen. That bred the entire business.”
Fast-forward nine years and the SWIISH tribe has conquered 48 countries with its carefully curated suite of 23 products including bestselling books and nutritional powders.
Celebrating the power of health in business, SWIISH joined forces with Powerful Steps to host an intimate wellness morning for friends of the brands, with guests including Candice Warner and Melissa Doyle.
“Wellness is not a trend, it’s a lifestyle,” says Powerful Steps Founder Tory Archbold. “Don’t wait for that game-changing, live or die moment to make it a priority within your business because that moment can happen without warning.
“You can lose top-performing executives to unexpected illness – not only are they unprepared, so is your business.
“When you invest in your health you invest in your future.”
Wellness in the C-suite
Costing the economy US$322 billion annually according to the World Economic Forum, burnout is a global phenomenon that’s been further heighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ultimately burnout tends to be an accumulation of exhaustion and stress over time,” Sally explains. “Wellness is also an accumulation – it’s about a number of small habits gained over time, which together create a powerhouse effect.”
And as CEOs themselves, the dynamic leaders understand the delicate juggle required for success.
“Now more than ever, the C-suite needs to demonstrate true leadership,” Maha says. “They’re managing competing demands – from the health and wellness of their teams to remote working arrangements, to keeping businesses going through changed economic conditions.
“And like they say when you’re on a plane (or at least when you used to be), put your own oxygen mask on first.
“C-suite executives need to actively look after their own wellness in order to effectively lead their company.”
Through using evidence-based wellness products – many of which have been naturopath approved – the brand provides executives with unparalleled access to leading experts for optimal health benefits.
From providing in-house products (including hot chocolate collagen powder and super green powder) to support employees to delivering a corporate benefit program, the wellness platform is helping companies to reduce absenteeism and improve employee engagement.
And every small habit counts because depression and anxiety, which have been closely associated to burnout, cost the global economy US$1 trillion.
“When someone goes down, everyone else around them follows one by one,” the business duo explains. “So taking care of your wellness is actually taking care of everyone.”
Plan your health like you plan your business
With the corporate world steadfastly focusing on high performance, it’s common place for executives to invest in mentors, coaches and leadership programs. But one crucial element is missing from the mix.
“Wellness tends to be something to tick off with an executive health check for insurance purposes,” Sally shares. “That’s because they fail to actively plan their wellness the same way they would their business.
“Rather than trying to mop up the damage after it happens – high blood pressure, heart attacks, poor diet, bad gut health – they should proactively use wellness to better achieve their goals.
“Some do, and that is their competitive edge.”
From increased energy, sharper mental awareness, improved sleep and low blood pressure, CEOs who prepare and prevent rather than repair and repent will soar far higher.
And it will ripple through the company.
“People want to be associated with success because success is contagious,” Tory says. “As a business you want your team to be in their prime mental and physical state.
“When they are happy, you are happy – it naturally elevates the vibration of what message you send out into the world to build your company and community culture.
“When others see your business community thriving, it sends a natural message of success, which in turn delivers business growth and increased internal productivity.”
While health and wellbeing can, on occasion, be seen as malarkey by more traditional executives who view wellness habits as a sign of weakness, it is in fact the tool for unrivalled power.
“There are so many corporate team members who suffer in silence and are afraid to speak up because they feel they will be sidelined for promotion or will be judged,” Tory explains. “When your body is working like a well-oiled machine, that is when you are in your true power.
“The reality is, we all want our teams to operate at this level so we can collectively thrive.”
Further fuelled by COVID, the wellness movement is here to stay – and the proof is in the C-suite with Chief Wellness Officers expected to become commonplace by 2030.
“When leaders are seen to invest in themselves so will the people they engage, which ultimately leads to everyone coming into alignment with their true power and potential within your business,” Tory adds.
Blending wellness with business
“Instead of making your meetings for an hour, schedule it for 50 minutes and use that additional 10 minutes to move your body and activate endorphins to attract success for the next round of calendar commitments,” Tory shares.
Small steps every day
“Anyone who is under pressure or is required to perform at their peak should at the very least have the SWIISH Wellness morning/night combo, which we created for this reason,” Maha explains. “It’s our Super Greens in the morning for energy – loaded with vegies, fruit, superfoods, and pre- and probiotics. Then our Sleep Superfood Powder for the evening to combat the mental load, unwind and relax the mind and body into sleep. Two small actions that are total game-changers for those who try them.”
Building a positive mindset
“The one rule I live by is it’s not for anyone to give you permission,” Sally shares.
“It’s my responsibility not to listen to naysayers or applause from the sidelines. You don’t need people to cheer you on; it’s your job to cheer yourself on. The power is knowing who you are and ignoring everyone on the side.”
Check in with others
“Check in with the people who make your business a success on a regular basis,” Tory says. “Earn their trust, let them know it’s OK not be OK and that you are there to help them build a strong foundation for a successful career journey with you while investing in their wellness needs.”
“Laser-sharp focus is everything,” the SWIISH sisters explain. “You can have a hundred good ideas but if you lack the discipline to stay focused, you’ll never get any of them off the ground. Continued focus and relentless persistence is what ensures you’ll go the distance.”
“A Buddhist monk in Thailand showed me how to slow down and put myself first and set myself up for success daily with a simple shower meditation,” Tory recalls. “Three drops of lavender oil on my decolletage, inhale and exhale slowly. Lavender has a great calming effect. You can then draw in your intuitional power resources and set up your intent and purpose for the day.”