by Jeff Gundersen, CEO - Executive Connections LLC
When we hear the word endurance, we usually relate it to the performance, stamina and the resilience of an athlete. As leaders and emerging leaders, we suggest you “hear” the word and take the same definition, but add the elements of bravery, prevail, and persistence.
Particularly in these challenging economic times, we need to create athlete-like minds AND bodies to sustain performance in the pace of the current marketplace, to be great role models, and to create outstanding results in every area of our lives!
Endurance is Crucial not Optional
Where does your brand need to ramp up it’s endurance? Is it the challenges of your company, role or business sector? Is it the balancing of work and home responsibilities? Or perhaps it is the uncertainty of your brand not getting the traction it needs. What do you need to do to strengthen and flex your endurance muscles? What can you eliminate or change immediately to increase endurance both personally and professionally?
What relevance does building physical endurance have to your performance in business? In our experience as senior-level talent acquisition and personal branding specialists, endurance is crucial and not optional. We all know and have seen too many examples of over-stressed and out-of-shape CEOs, some of whom have died on the job due to stress-related illnesses or heart attacks.
Clearly, such a lifestyle is personally dangerous. But it can also be professionally dangerous. In today’s 24/7/365 environment, you do not want to risk making a costly business or personal brand decision simply because you were tired, careless, and sloppy due to a lack of endurance.
Also, if you are a C-level or even an emerging leader and you do not take care of yourself, how can you expect to be a role model for others in the organization? To the contrary, you send an undesirable message to the organization.
Take control of building the endurance you need to maximize your performance. Incorporate our EC Top 5 List of “Endurance Best Practices” into your daily schedule to improve your endurance:
- Take an Endurance assessment. Check your endurance levels and create an action plan where you need energy the most. Want more endurance? Stop doing what drags you down. Plan for eliminating the “tolerations” in the following areas; business, personal, finance, health and well-being, and relationships. This could include questions, such as; What is keeping me up at night? When do I schedule time away from my work? What do I need to improve to get into better physical condition? What relationships do I need to remove that drain me of my energy? Remaining active outside the office will help you build the stamina and endurance you will need on the job.
- Develop and maintain an optimistic attitude. It is proven medically, people with a “glass half full” mentality are happier and less stressed than their alternative counterparts. It takes a lot less energy to be positive. Work on your unique outlook and eliminate worrying about all the people, places and things that are not aligned with being positive or outside of your personal control.
- Delegate, Delegate, Delegate! Identify the tasks at work and at home that you really do not want to do or you are not good at (the “drudge” tasks) and delegate these immediately. You will be amazed how much lighter this will make you feel and give your endurance a boost! Notice how our energy levels seems to be low when we do not want to do something or be somewhere we don’t want to be.
- Take Control of Your Calendar. Don’t constantly overbook yourself. For example, after a late night of meetings, travel or client entertaining, do not schedule yourself for a 7 a.m. breakfast meeting. Give yourself time to recover. Don’t let business issues spill over into your personal life and vice versa. Work on compartmentalizing the different areas of your life and use success and happiness in one area to raise your energy and spirits in the other areas.
- Plan ahead. Be Pro-Active! Manage your health and mental well-being! Most senior executives have at least four to five weeks of vacation annually; you will be surprised how many do not take this time off, or if they do, they actually work all day on vacation. Set boundaries, leave the laptop at home, empower others to step up, and disengage on a quarterly basis.
And above all…check in with yourself on a regular basis and make course corrections as necessary, you can shift and change as you need to. Continue to build your brand to endure maximum performance!