Wellness in the Work World

Recently I ran an interactive workshop at the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Leadership Development Conference in Chicago focused on managing multiple roles and responsibilities while seeking to attain a greater leadership role in the workplace. What I found when doing my research on this is that wellness supports the ability to function optimally at higher levels. Of course, that didn’t surprise me at all.


I found a Families and Work Institute survey of Leaders in a Global Economy, filled with great nuggets of information to guide a vision of intentional navigation to a place of leadership achievement and happiness at home. Yes, you can have it all, but you need to make it happen. I also considered the wisdom of authors of The Corporate Athlete, a book that emphasizes the need to recover energy every 90 to 120 minutes in order to work within your ideal performance state. This can be done through managing our energy and internal state of mind, even when the external world is pressing on us. Corporate athletes eat breakfast and small, healthy snack every 3 to 4 hours to keep energy levels high, drink enough water to stay well hydrated, which also contributes to energy, exercise regularly, and create habits or rituals to take those frequent breaks at work. Those can be just taking a moment to meditate, do some deep breathing exercises, take a short walk, or changing focus in some other way, before your next energy expenditure.


The Leaders in a Global economy shed light on the habits executives at higher levels practice. About one-third of those surveyed were considered “dual-centric,” or having equal emphasis on work and home life. Some were even successfully “tri-centric;” they may also be involved in sport or community activity. These leaders not only felt more successful, they were more successful. There were more dual-centrics at the top two of the five executive levels The Families and Work Institute studied. Dual-centrics had five key strategies they used to intentionally navigate their environments to achieve success at work, while reporting lower levels of stress than their work-centric counterparts.


Here they are.

    • They set strict boundaries between work and home life
    • Are  clear about priorities
    • Are emotionally present where they are physically present
    • Give up what is not essential
    • Take time for rest and recovery


Notice that last one sounds like the corporate athlete approach. Intentional navigation is a dynamic process of setting and resetting priorities. With some focused effort and a strategic vision and goals, you can become successfully dual-centric. Or, maybe even tri-centric. What will you do first to get started on your path to being the leader of your life?










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