Stay Positive And Committed

This week, our partner Forbes published my article about staying positive and committed. Enjoy!

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As a CEO, I am used to pressure. But even when it’s tough, I’ve learned to turn “off” moments into opportunities.

Here are three simple but effective strategies that have helped me remain committed and inspired since founding my organization in 2001. I hope they help you, too.

Take A Break

Being a CEO can be hectic. Our minds are racing between what we need to get done today and what our company will look like in the future — we have to be pragmatic operators and visionaries at the same time.

Be mindful of the stress you put on yourself. Many people think taking a break during the workday won’t work. Yet, according to ScienceDirect, Stanford researchers found taking breaks improves your ability to focus on a task. “Microbreaks,” which are 1-5-minute breaks, are most beneficial if taken throughout the day.

Taking a break means different things to different people. You can go on a walk, take a nap, review meditations or prayers, or shoot some hoops. If you are unable to leave your workplace, shift your thoughts to something different. One way I take a break is by reciting things for which I’m grateful. This turns into a beautiful stream of images: my parents’ smiles, the conversation I had with a friend the previous night, the radiant blue sky. This “off time” re-energizes my mind.



Have A Hobby

Studies have shown that external interests engage different parts of the brain and allow us to be more creative. Kevin Eschleman, a psychology professor at San Francisco State University, led a study to test how creative hobbies such as knitting, photography or even doodling can make an impact on your work life and productivity. It turns out that those who participate in creative hobbies do 15-30% better at work. Why? It allows you to unwind after a stressful day at the office, while still encouraging you to develop skills beneficial for your success professionally.

In my case, I adore improv. I find it thrilling to explore different characters, and be someone I’ve never been, nor ever will be, in real life. It also increases my listening skills and allows me to connect with others on stage. This helps me a better and diverse communicator at work, adjusting to different people’s styles. On the stage, you have to react, to make a decision. Similarly, if you want to be CEO, you’ll have to improvise and respond under pressure. Improv requires individuals to collaborate with one another, to let go of their judgment, and to become better listeners.

Engage With Caring Supporters

While many people don’t recognize it, CEOs need appreciation and support as well. Pay attention to your own heart. Surround yourself with strong supporters inside and outside of your company. This could be anyone from your Board of Directors to informal advisors, family or certain members of your management team.

Your inner circle of confidants should also be external to your work. Outside of work, my family is my number one supporter. They have seen me through starting two companies and the demands that come with that challenge.

In Conclusion

Be the creative and encouraging leader that you are inside. Take steps to avoid feeling burnout and to remain present, positive and energized. If you commit to being an inspired leader, your company will thrive.

What other strategies work for you? I look forward to your comments!

 

Want to read this article on Forbes? Click here. 

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