A question that often comes up is how can today’s top employees and leaders increase their performance and effectiveness and at the same time maintain their health and emotional well being? For today’s busy leaders and ambitious employee’s the answer is simple: time-effective fitness. In this four part post we’ll clearly outline how busy and stressed executives can use fitness to have the time, energy and productivity necessary to reach their career goals, while maintaining health and avoiding costly trade-offs in their personal lives. For a long time fitness was a nice to do for executives when time allowed for it in their schedule. In today’s corporate climate, executives are more stressed, with more complex responsibilities, and more pressure to have them done than ever before. For many this means that the time available for fitness is rare if not gone altogether, as are the associated benefits, such as reduced stress, clear thinking, healthy attitude, and having energy to perform at your best throughout the day. To get these benefits back, you must make fitness work into your schedule so it is time-effective. To determine whether your fitness plan is time-effective for you, there are two questions you have to ask.
1) Will this workout or fitness plan add to the time I have available in the future, increase my energy and increase my productivity?
2) Will this workout or fitness plan give me the greatest results in the shortest amount of time needed?
In order to answer a resounding YES to these two questions, your workouts and fitness plan must consist of four components, the first of which I am covering today in this post. The following three will be included in posts later this week.
Focused on Aerobic Conditioning
The heart and lungs are what give you the energy, stamina, stress relief, and endurance you need to be effective through-out the work day. As opposed to lifting weights and other exercise which are important, by focusing your workouts on aerobic exercise you specifically gain the benefits most likely to give you what you need most. Here is a list of the benefits of aerobic exercise:
• Increased Energy and Stamina
• Better Health
• Stress Management
• Mood Elation
• Clear Thinking
• Improved Sleep
• Improved Decision-Making Capabilities
• Improved Image and Impact
• Company benefits through increased productivity with lower heath care costs and reduced absenteeism
Depending on your current level of fitness, you will receive these benefits by completing at least 3 aerobic workouts a week for 20-30 minutes each time, with the eventual goal being 5 aerobic workouts a week, each 20-30 minutes long. Since this eventual goal can take months or longer to achieve, it is essential to know that many executives begin receiving some if not all of these benefits after the first week.
In the upcoming components you will learn how to make these workouts even more powerful and effective by including key principles and tips like intervals, however right now it should be clear that the benefits to your future time, energy, and productivity listed above make these workouts a time-effective investment. This is the first of the four components that are the foundation of the principle in Executive Stamina that fitness is a key resource in the success of today’s top executives.
Use our best practices to strengthen your relationships with coworkers, friends and family.
Do we need ‘loved ones’ (i.e. friends and family) to be successful in business? No. There are many examples of high achievers in the corporate world who are basically loners with very low need for affiliation.
Do we need close personal relationships to be happy? Most people will answer yes and research supports the association between positive relationships and reported happiness. Tim Kasser, associate professor at Lenox College, in a study on intrinsic values, found that people who focused on being connected to friends and family, exploring interests and skills and “making the world a better place” were happier than those who focused mostly on material goals. Marriage, at least for men, is also linked with higher levels of health and increased longevity. Good relationships can provide a source of support, empathy, listening, sharing, laughter, love and even meaning. In addition, family objectives are often a key motivator for an executive’s strivings.
As wonderful as this sounds, a business career can present challenges to relationships and relationships can present challenges to a business career. The first reason is time, something I talk about in each chapter. Forming and maintaining good relationships requires time. The second reason is the potential for relationships to deteriorate. Relationships are particularly prone to being impacted by vicious cycles. These cycles can eventually consume large quantities of time and energy and distract our focus from other goals and priorities.
So the irony is that, if relationships don’t receive the time, energy and focus that are needed to support them, they can become major consumers of your time, energy and focus. The flip side of those wonderful attributes (empathy, laughter, love, etc.) I described earlier is that relationships have the potential to bring out some of the worst feeling we may ever experience. Guilt, resentment, insecurity, humiliation, abandonment and abuse can be, and is, experienced in relationships.
Learn how to use organizational savvy to position yourself for success.
Organizational savvy refers to a set of skills that combines personal integrity with sound judgment regarding corporate practices and human nature. It has many applications, which include evoking influence and persuasion, maintaining high integrity organizations, and fostering effective collaboration. But here we will focus on the importance of Org Savvy in career management.
In Survival of the Savvy (Free Press, 2004), Rick Brandon and I wrote in depth about the wide variety of practices associated with being savvy. Here, we will review the basics, or fundamental behaviors that can help provide a better chance of reaping the rewards of all your hard work. Becoming savvy can take some time, and honing these skills may require you to allocate or reallocate some of your time.
Developing these savvy behaviors will fall into the ‘best use of your time’ category because they are critical career success factors. Not developing or employing them can offset years of sustained effort. Often I’m asked, how savvy to I need to be? Or, how much time do I need to devote to being savvy? We need to be as savvy as our situation demands. Below are descriptions of the savvy skills essential in getting to the highest levels of corporations and staying there. Each component of organizational savvy will be defined to highlight its importance. For a more in depth understanding of how to develop and implement these techniques refer to, Survival of the Savvy
- Study Power
- Learn the Culture
- Effective Self-Promotion
- Detect Deception
- Know the Scorecard for Your Next Role
- Create an Accurate Perception of Your Talent and Potential
- Self Management Skills
See: Testimonials for Survival of the Savvy
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