Last year I went to the doctor for my physical and was told that while my all systems were running awesome (BP, blood work, etc. – thank God), my BMI (body-mass-index) put me in the “high” category – had I tried exercise? My body fat was 20.5% at the time (healthy), I exercised five days a week, prioritized sleep, and ate super clean 93% of the time (wine, chocolate, and a really good taco are necessary pleasures in my world), and I felt great. I was grateful I understood BMI. I was also grateful that my body felt solid, that I felt healthy, and that I knew I was taking care of myself. That was my measurement.
Recently I was asked to consult with an organization to help them shift their culture to one of greater health, leadership, productivity, and morale.
The team pulled together consisted of several thought leaders from different industries, some of the organization's leadership, several of their employees, and me.
It was a powerful group.
After digging in and assessing what was up in this particular organization, we found some very rich and delicious low hanging fruit.
The organization originally thought it was going to take lots of money, initiatives, tools, training, and all sorts of new skills and magic to make the changes they wished for.
For some of the suggestions we unearthed, money, initiatives, tools, training, and all sorts of new skills and magic would work, be helpful, and in the end be very cool. They'd also take more collaboration, more money, more time, and more planning. Some of them they came up with I'd file under "let's check culture change off the list" things -- so we tossed those.
All good. They chose to do some of the highest leverage and well intentioned initiatives.
But, here was the real magic. Some of the highest leverage things they could do were actually "none of the above". They were free, easy, and effective.
And, even better, they could be implemented immediately.
The catch? They did require awareness, intention, attention, and of course... a decision to Show Up.
Want them? Here you go... don't underestimate the power of simplicity...
Be Present: With yourself, with your people, with what is happening IN the room.
Moving fast, jumping from meeting to meeting, focusing on the past and the future -- but not the now, is one of the most challenging epidemics we've got going on right now in the land of leadership and "humaning". Slow down. A little goes a long way.
Breathe. No matter what's happening, breathe. Notice where your body is right now. And then be IN it. In this moment. This is all you have. (Yep, reading this, with me, all you have. Right now.) Give this quality of presence to yourself, and to whomever you're with, and you open up more space, clarity, connection, and ironically more resourcefulness and therefore productivity.
Know the Why, Know Your Why: Connect to purpose.
It's fairly easy to get so caught up in the day to day that we forget WHY we do what we do in the first place. This is low hanging fruit and incredibly powerful fuel. It doesn't have to take a lot of time or energy to access. You need awareness and acknowledgement to cross the bridge of purpose.
Remember WHY you're doing the work you do in the first place. Help your employees connect to WHY they're working with your organization, how their impact matters, and how their job ties directly to the mission and what you're all there to do.
Appreciate your people (and yourself): A little goes a long way.
You expect the best -- or simply A LOT -- from yourself and others. And then, when it happens, you move to the next without acknowledging the win, the who, the what of what's just occurred. The train keeps going... but no one feels seen, appreciated, valued, or acknowledged. Boo. This counts for you too. Self-appreciation is gold (and free) here. Even in the failures, especially in the failures, there is treasure in acknowledgement.
Let your people know you care about them. Acknowledge and honor wins AND fails -- and especially the risks taken -- even when they didn't net out so hot. (That risk could have taken your company or relationship to the next level so keep the energy moving and the gates open for more inspiration and risk.) And of course, you too. The more solid your own self-appreciation and self-care, the stronger your energetic field, and the better you are for them.
Go get it.
This article first appeared on Inc.com on February 27, 2017.
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I was recently in Costco with my daughter. We stocked up on water, TP, her favorite ice cream bars, that extra kitchen gadget we absolutely had to have (and more things that weren’t on our list), and we headed to the checkout.
We stood in line. It was packed. Lots of people loading up their baskets with water, TP, and ice cream bars. Everyone seemingly in their own worlds. On their phones. “Killing time.” (I don’t love this phrase. Do you?) Waiting out the line. Not a lot of presence, connection, or intention happening in the grocery store line.
It was our turn. I handed my card to the guy and asked him to do two separate rings. He asked me for two cards. I was confused.
Heads up, my friends! This is a completely new style of blog post—one I’ve never written before, but one that needs to be written because I so want you to know about what’s coming around the corner. For those of you who know me, or who’ve been close to me this last year, this will be a recap and update. For those of you new to me…thanks in advance for celebrating this milestone with me, for coming to this site, and for participating in this work in whatever way you do. It’s an honor.
You're an awesome person. A great leader. A fantastic collaborator. Super smart... Fabulous. You use your time well. Lead your energy. And manage your money with intention and rigor... Wonderful. You want to do more good work. Have even better relationships. Be more inspiring. Attract more meaningful partnerships into your life... Lovely. How's it going?