The Knowledge Hub of IMD
Share
FacebookFacebook icon TwitterTwitter icon LinkedInLinkedIn icon Email

Brain circuits

Three simple exercises to help create the conditions to thrive

Published 4 January 2022 in Brain circuits • 2 min read

As we strive to become better managers, better leaders, and better people in increasingly uncertain circumstances, we may overlook some of the simplest things that we can do to improve our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

Stop working

That’s it. Take a break, take a nap, get enough sleep, make sure there is time in each day for the things you enjoy that don’t involve work. Leaders must set this example for everyone else in the company. Getting enough sleep is one of the healthiest habits you can establish.

Elite athletes are not constantly training. They understand the necessity of rest and recovery for high performance. It’s time for business leaders to recognize this is vital for their people and companies to thrive as well.

Connect with your body

Stand up (do it now). Take four deep breaths. Spend just a few minutes stretching then take a few more deep breaths. This is a small thing that can make a massive difference. Try this several times a day at work and at home.

Reflect on what you eat and drink. Attune to what your body needs; you would never dream of putting the wrong fuel into your car, yet our bodies have to last much longer than any automobile. Break unhealthy dietary habits by substituting healthy ones instead.

Share everyday passions

Capture things that make you happy. Reflect on your everyday passions – what gives you energy? This can be enjoying a cup of tea or coffee, walking your dog, cooking a meal, hiking, playing with your kids, communing with nature, reading a book, watching a movie… Whatever it is you enjoy, write it down.

Share this with your team and encourage them to share their everyday passions too. Seek out, appreciate, and share the magic in the mundane.

Good health and wellbeing are critical for both people and the planet. The world is changing and it’s time to adapt to more sustainable ways of leading people and conducting business. Leaders must have the courage to create a “secure base space” that stimulates a play to thrive mindset.  

Authors

Susan Goldsworthy - IMD Professor

Susan Goldsworthy

Affiliate Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change at IMD

Susan Goldsworthy OLY is a Affiliate Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change at IMD. Co-author of three award-winning books, she is also an Olympic swimmer. She is a highly qualified executive coach and is trained in numerous psychometric assessments.

Related

Learn Brain Circuits

Join us for daily exercises focusing on issues from team building to developing an actionable sustainability plan to personal development. Go on. They only take five minutes.
 
Read more 

Explore Leadership

What makes a great leader? Do you need charisma? How do you inspire your team? Our experts offer actionable insights through first-person narratives, behind-the-scenes interviews and The Help Desk.
 
Read more

Join Membership

Log in here to join the conversation with the I by IMD community. Your subscription grants you access to the quarterly magazine plus daily articles, videos, podcasts and learning exercises.
 
Sign up

You have 5 of 5 articles left to read.