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Tips and Tools For Companies & Individuals Committed To Success

Post Date: March 12th, 2010

A Phoenix Business Journal Article

By George Cappannelli

Few among us dispute the value of having a healthy body, a clear, active and curious mind and positive emotions.  Nor do we underestimate the importance of having a sound organizational vision, a clear strategic plan and a stable financial base.  These ingredients contribute to balance and are essential for those who want to achieve and sustain optimum levels of professional and personal performance.  And yet with all of the daily pushes and pulls at work and at home, and with the many demands and constraints placed upon us in these troubled economic times, it is easy to find a reason to not do the things that we need to do to maintain balance and well-being – our own and our company’s.  Yes, it’s easy to become captives of short run thinking and hope that something will rescue us or that we will change our ways before the bill comes due.  

Unfortunately, the tale of the tape tells a different story.   Failure to maintain balance, not only depletes reserves and resources, but also results in an enormous price.   Lower productivity, absenteeism, health and stress related performance issues, accidents on the job, and eventually, of course, attrition.  These conditions cost the business community billions of dollars each year.   And this number does not include costs that are beyond our calculation – troubled marriages, divorce, failed relationships with our children, loss of life direction and passion and on and on.

So let’s not kid ourselves.  This is not a small problem and it is not something that will go away on its own.   In fact, our experience indicates that lack of attention in these areas results in significantly increased challenges and dramatically escalating costs.   There is, of course, some good news here as well.  This same experience suggests that for every hour and dollar companies and individuals invest developing, supporting and maintaining balance, the return is enormous.

So how do we create greater balance and well-being?  The first step is our awareness that we are resisting dealing with the problem.  The second, our acceptance that changes are needed.  And then, of course, comes action.  What kind of action?   There is no substitute for a little old fashioned hard work.  You know that condition in which you sweat and your muscles get sore; where you push through your usual lethargy and resistance and get healthy.  

We’re talking about establishing a physical exercise program that includes the right exercises for your body type and level of conditioning.     We’re talking about eating the right foods in the right amount that help you to stay energized and mentally alert.   We’re talking about taking enough breaks to keep your mind sharp and your energy high.  We are talking about doing things that stimulate your creativity and increase your self-awareness and self-discipline.  We are also talking about identifying beliefs that limit you and replacing them with beliefs that allow you inherit more of your energy, joy, creativity and talent.

If you lead a company or a team at work, your challenge is to create an environment that encourages your people to achieve greater well-being and balance.  Yes, we know these are tough times and that you are being asked to get maximum performance from fewer people.  At the same time, if you do not make enough of a commitment to balance and well-being you will loose the greatest asset you have – the people who make your company successful.  

How do you do that?  Set some standards.  Model the results you want to achieve.   Provide information.  Invest in training and, above all, find ways –they do not have to be expensive – to reward those willing to get with the program.

As an individual, you have a different accountability.  Here are a few reminders to help you to fulfill it.   Begin by evaluating the physical, intellectual and emotional areas of your life. It’s easy to do.  Just give yourself a score on a scale of one to ten (one being low, ten high) in these three areas.   

High scores mean you are currently doing a lot of the right things.  Moderate to low scores suggest that you have some work to do.  Your task then is to decide exactly what you are willing to do.  If you need motivation or direction get a coach.  Read up on the subject.  Go to a gym.  Take a class.  See a specialist or therapist.  You get the picture.  Above all, remember action creates habit, habit creates character and character creates destiny.

What else?   If you and your company want to really be successful, there is no substitute for a strong focus on spiritual well-being.   This includes paying attention to those “still small voices within” that encourage us toward greater awareness, compassion, cooperation, harmony and, above all, greater expression of feelings.  So encourage reflection, prayer, meditation or even just a little time spent in silence each day.  These practices make a huge difference.  

The bottom line – invest in physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance –your own and your company’s.  Your professional and personal success depends upon it, as does your company’s productivity, performance and profitability.   

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