I’ve never been much of an athlete. My formative years were before the benefits of Title 9. The shame of being picked last for a string of dodge ball teams in my youth convinced me that my skills were outside of athletics.
I carried this belief until about five years ago when, burnt out and exhausted, I read The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. Their work reframed my view. It seems that I, like countless others of my corporate colleagues, pushed ourselves beyond the expectations of professional athletes. As human performance experts supporting the pros, they noted vast differences between professional and “corporate” athletes. Professional athletes train 90% of the time, corporate workers 10%. Yet professional athletes expect themselves to be at the top of their game 4-6 hours a day, while corporate workers demanded peak performance for 8-12 hours. A professional athletes career lasts 7-10 years as compared to a corporate athlete’s 30+. No wonder I was tired.
I was delighted to renew my awareness of Loehr and Schwartz’s work last week at the Network of Executive Women (NEW) Regional Conference in Chicago. And, I was energized to learn in the presence of executive women, many pioneers, who recognized that none of us succeed alone and success is sweeter together. NEW celebrated it’s tenth anniversary in Chicago with a summary session of the Corporate Athlete Course sponsored by the Human Performance© Institute. I have been away from NEW for a while; it was great to be again surrounded by this positive support as I invested in an energy training regime.
It’s Never Too Late to Lace ‘Em Up
The reconnection with my “inner athlete” confirmed training tips for real or desk jocks. These are:
• Reframe “managing time” to “managing energy.” It’s what you do with the time that matters.
• Energy management requires a four-platform strategy. First manage your physical well being, then emotional, mental and
• You can’t delegate energy management to anyone. You have it if you invest in it.
• Like professional athletes, you need a training mission. How many champions have a mission of “ I’ll show up and see what
happens?” Not many. Yet, how many of us spend our days in an aimless direction? Have a mission to inspire and direct your
I arrived at the NEW session wondering if I had the time to invest in this day. I left with the inspiration and information to encourage my “inner athlete” in the ongoing business game.
Moments of greatness are possible when we:
• Don’t put ourselves last. Think of yourself like a client. What do you need to be at your best?
• Our parents were right. Eat right, get enough sleep and exercise. Physical well being is the foundation of energy management.
• Manage self-talk. How would a world-class coach critique our day? Follow that pattern.
• Have a mission bigger than us. Let it be awe-inspiring. Let it be the thing that pushes us to take the next step, take the next risk, dream the next dream.
To learn about managing personal energy, visit the Human Performance© Institute at www.corporateathelete.com. You can take a free energy profile or get a personal report for a modest fee.
To learn more about the Network of Executive Women, visit http://www.newonline.org. It’s a fantastic support organization for women in the consumer products/retail industries.