Everything I need to know about leading leaders, I learned from fitness.
Five years ago, I set out to create PowHERhouse, a woman’s leadership accelerator – a house – dedicated to building strong women who lead. It is quite ironic that after more than a decade in the fitness, wellness & performance industry, my excellence pillars when working with leaders are the exact same ones that guided me as a competitive athlete and coach. Lifestyle + Leadership, integrated.
My Top 5 excellence pillars for mobilization of leaders – individually and collectively
The strongest leaders I know show up consistently. There is no walking on egg shells, moodiness or frazzled fractures of energy all over the map. You know what to expect. There are no surprises, and you build around that.
The same goes for fitness. What you put into your training, you get out of it. Those serious about their health and fitness goals prioritize them above all else. Workouts and cardio activities are scheduled alongside critical appointments and client meetings. “I don’t have time.” does not exist in their vocabulary.
We make time for our priorities, and our priorities shape who we are and how we show up in the world.
It goes full circle.
My favourite question to ask women is, “What are you ready for?”
Women run the risk of assuming external factors are holding them back – lack of capital, opportunities, support, mentoring – (and indeed, they very well may be) when often times when you dig deep enough, you discover at the heart of the block is a woman’s lack of self-confidence and lack of preparation that is primarily holding her back.
In the height of my competitive days as an athlete, running alongside consistency was readiness. Hours were spent in the kitchen ensuring macronutrient balanced meals were prepped. The dedication to what was digested by my system was incredible and shocking to many. I knew exactly what it took to achieve the desired level of success that I set out for myself in a specific period of time and how to break that goal down into daily actions. The same goes for business. Preparation meets opportunity. Period.
What are you ready for?
I mean, really ready for!
Growth comes just beyond your comfort zone.
In order for a muscle to be properly stimulated to encourage it to grow stronger, it needs to be pushed past what it can comfortably accomplish in order for it to adapt.
The same holds true in life.
“You don’t get anywhere from the drip, drip, drip of the incremental. You get there from some big event that changes your life… Those are the moments that are the power moments in your life… and in fact the whole notion of ‘normal’ doesn’t apply to a person’s life. You don’t get anywhere by the small increments. It is the extreme event, and you seize it. You are poised. And if you remain poised, you can respond to that kind of significant event.”
– Art De Vany
In weight-lifting, the concept of using a spotter in order to get stronger is this:
The act of supporting another person during a particular exercise, with an emphasis on allowing the participant to lift or push more than they could normally do safely.
In business, life, and leadership, we also need spotters.
Abraham Lincoln believed that we should practice patience, but that we should also approach our goals with a sense of urgency. Build momentum by taking consistent and daily actions towards what you want.
We cannot “stroll to our goal”.
The second part of this equation is to recognize and acknowledge success as it begins to show up as it is this recognition that indeed speeds up the process. Time and time again, I would work with women where this became very evident. As soon as they acknowledged that what they were doing was working, their results sped up!
Recover to grow.
Finally and most importantly, seasoned athletes understand that muscles require rest and recovery in order to grow. Once they have been adequately stimulated and properly nourished, what they most need for growth is rest and recovery.
The same holds true for leaders. Stimulation and nourishment are important but it is only when combined with rest, recovery, self-care and reflection that we adapt and undergo sustainable growth.
Lifestyle + Leadership, integrated.