Friday, 01 June 2012 10:43

The happy and effective executive

As an executive, your overall well-being consists of your effectiveness combined with your happiness. Effectiveness means that you are able to produce desired results; happiness means that you are in a state of well-being and contentment.

Most executives spend a good amount of their time worrying about effectiveness. They set tough goals and push hard each day to achieve them in the most effective manner. They are results driven, and any thought of happiness comes only after the results are achieved.

This begs the question: Can a busy, hardworking executive be both effective and happy?

I believe the answer is yes. In fact, I am convinced that better results stem from increased happiness. With this in mind, here are some tips to consider that will increase your happiness as an executive:

Start with a happiness exercise

Take out a piece of paper right now and list all the things in life that make you happy. DO NOT censor them. List them as they come to mind. Let it free flow from your mind and heart. List as many people, places, situations, causes, activities, feelings and opportunities as you can possibly dream up.

Now, get in touch with your mind and heart and begin to narrow the list down. In the end, you want to have a list of no more than four things that make you happy.

You now have within your grasp the areas where you should focus your energy, time and resources. The items on the list are at the very core of your personal happiness.

Happiness in all areas of your life is the key that unlocks great measures of effectiveness. Once discovered, your personal happiness will have a direct effect on your business effectiveness.

Take this exercise seriously. Be open, honest and determined. You will be surprised at the results.

Stay happy through ongoing education

Never stop learning.

We must be surrounded with people who know more than we do. They must be a part of what we do with our life and business.

Successful, effective executives know that education does not have an expiration date.

When was the last time you put a teacher or coach into your business goals and plans?

What new thing have you learned lately? Are you willing to stretch your mind to consider more than you already know?

Happiness can be found in a good teacher, trainer or mentor. Look for someone who helps you develop new skill sets and fosters your growth. Allow them to push you to consider new ideas, thoughts and ways of working, acting and leading.

Eliminate stress

I know this is easier said than done, but consider the fact that stress is the #1 killer of a healthy body and mind. Stress eats away at the foundation of your happiness. It distracts you, wears on you and drags you down.

Meditation, yoga, hiking, exercise and deep breathing exercises help reduce and even eliminate stress. Each of these has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other ailments.

Do not overwhelm yourself with the thought of adding each of these to your life. Pick one that interests you and do it. Make a deliberate choice to incorporate a stress reducing activity into your daily life.

Consider this: The absence of stress brings on the presence of happiness.

Have an attitude of gratitude

Our attitude of gratitude serves to focus our minds on the things we have and the things we want, desire and need to live an even fuller, more meaningful and happier life.

In the end, gratitude is not just an attitude – it is a choice.

When we choose to be grateful and to express that gratefulness, we find our lives being shaped by its power. When that happens, we move our life to greater heights of happiness and effectiveness as an executive.

The basis of this article is that a hardworking, results-driven, empowered executive can find ways to be both effective in his or her work and experience happiness in their life. Although we see it far too often in the workplace, the two do not have to be mutually exclusive.

An executive that takes the time to think and dream about the things that truly make them happy, who is willing to stay fresh through ongoing education and who works hard to eliminate stress is an executive who has found the secret to being both happy and effective.

I wish you all the best.

DeLores Pressleymotivational speaker and personal power expert, is one of the most respected and sought-after experts on success, motivation, confidence and personal power. She is an international keynote speaker, author, life coach and the founder of the Born Successful Institute and DeLores Pressley Worldwide. She helps individuals utilize personal power, increase confidence and live a life of significance. Her story has been touted in The Washington Post, Black Enterprise, First for Women, Essence, New York Daily News, Ebony and Marie Claire. She is a frequent media guest and has been interviewed on every major network – ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX – including America’s top rated shows OPRAH and Entertainment Tonight.

She is the author of “Oh Yes You Can,” “Clean Out the Closet of Your Life” and “Believe in the Power of You.” To book her as a speaker or coach, contact her office at 330.649.9809 or via email atinfo@delorespressley.com or visit her website at www.delorespressley.com.

Published in Akron/Canton

Executives are some of the busiest people I know. They are often some of the unhealthiest, as well.

The trend in today’s workplace is towards doing more and more with less and less. This adds strain to the already overworked executive. That strain affects the health of the executive and hinders his or her ability to do their job effectively.

This trend cannot continue. It is destroying the lives of too many top-notch professionals.

Here are 27 tips for staying healthy as a busy executive:

1. Remember to smell the flowers. Take time out to enjoy the little things in life. Being just as impressed by small events as large ones helps to cultivate wisdom and clarity.

2. Stop living a “hit-and-miss life.” Living aimlessly is like shooting multiple arrows that miss their targets. This is a waste of time and not a trait of an effective leader.

3. Anxiety is anticipation run riot. Anticipating the worst keeps us from enjoying the present. Realize that anxiety does not facilitate self-control.

4. Remember to take breaks. Taking breaks during work helps you accomplish more during the time that you are working.

5. Avoid procrastination. Remove temptations around you such as an instant messenger program or magazines, which might tempt you from being efficient at work.

6. Keep things simple. Eliminate the things that cause clutter in your life, such as unnecessary magazine subscriptions, paper and too many unused gadgets.

7. Take care of yourself. Executives who look haggard or tired tend to have more responsibilities heaped on them, because your physical condition and dress sends the message that you permit that.

8. Commit yourself to exercise at least three times a week. Keeping yourself in shape will help you perform efficiently in all areas of your life.

9. Always eat breakfast. Low blood sugar as a result of not eating properly can cause unproductive afternoons.

10. Take your vitamins. If you eat constantly on the run to save time, take vitamins to avoid potential slumps in energy.

11. Bag your lunch. Not only is this cheaper, but it is more nutritious because you have control over what you eat. This can spare you from eating empty calories that exhaust you.

12. Sit down with your family for dinner. This is the one thing that you can do each day to bond with family members. It also saves money and allows you to control your diet.

13. Make dates with your mate. Planning romantic outings keeps your relationship erotic and alive.

14. Get professional help. If you can’t cope due to bad time management skills or emotional problems, get the help that you need.

15. Ask for help if you need it. Pride prevents most executives from asking for assistance from higher ups or colleagues. Being trained wastes less time than trying to figure out something yourself.

16. Make sure you have quiet time. Set personal time aside for yourself each week doing something that you enjoy doing alone. This gives you clarity and is a form of meditation.

17. Get enough sleep. People who are sleep deprived make more time consuming mistakes and are too irritable to lead a quality life style.

18. Never get too hungry. People who are hungry are irritable and make mistakes so that things need to be done over again.

19. Avoid people who suck your time. Needy or emotionally disturbed individuals can seriously throw your plans for the day astray. Avoid them the best you can.

20. Deal with your anger. Angry individuals are hasty, reckless and make careless errors that cause time consuming mistakes.

21. If you are tired, rest. It is better to rest and do a task twice as fast afterwards, rather than do it slowly because you are exhausted.

22. Take life one day at a time. Live in the present, not in the future, and you will accomplish more.

23. Give back to the community. Engage in one meaningful activity where money is “not the goal”. This empowers you spiritually and prevents you from getting too stuck in your own problems.

24. Make yourself inaccessible at certain times. Let others know when you are working and cannot be disturbed.

25. Reward yourself for a job well done. Whenever you complete a big task, make sure to keep motivated by giving yourself a reward.

26. Seek out the good in every situation. Disappointments and delays are a part of life. Learn how to make it up to your family if you are late and can’t be there for them.

27. Realize that you always have choices. Make choices about how you spend your time, and do not be at the mercy of obligations that you cannot fulfill.

As a busy executive, staying healthy has to be at the top of your priority list. It is essential to your job as a leader. Use these tips to guide you into the healthy lifestyle you deserve.

DeLores Pressleymotivational speaker and personal power expert, is one of the most respected and sought-after experts on success, motivation, confidence and personal power. She is an international keynote speaker, author, life coach and the founder of the Born Successful Institute and DeLores Pressley Worldwide. She helps individuals utilize personal power, increase confidence and live a life of significance. Her story has been touted in The Washington Post, Black Enterprise, First for Women, Essence, New York Daily News, Ebony and Marie Claire. She is a frequent media guest and has been interviewed on every major network – ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX – including America’s top rated shows OPRAH and Entertainment Tonight.

She is the author of “Oh Yes You Can,” “Clean Out the Closet of Your Life” and “Believe in the Power of You.” To book her as a speaker or coach, contact her office at 330.649.9809 or via email atinfo@delorespressley.com or visit her website at www.delorespressley.com.

Published in Akron/Canton