Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Importance of Physical Fitness in Leadership and Overcoming Injury


One thing I have learned through my various leadership experiences in the U.S. Army is the importance of physical fitness in Leadership. I believe that physical fitness, especially endurance sports changes people for the better.  It builds self-discipline and a sense of pride in oneself as a person pursues harder and harder physical challenges and achieves those goals. As people pursue harder and harder challenges, operating outside of the zone they are comfortable in, they grow and develop both mentally and physically. It also makes leaders authentic to their peers, subordinates, and superiors when they show they have the personal courage to face a challenging physical task and achieve it. It is tied to leading by example " I did it, so can you". Stories of overcoming physical fitness challenges give leaders authenticity and can help influence others.

Leaders are responsible for coming up with solutions to challenging problems. How is that related to physical fitness? Physical fitness builds the mental  discipline that is necessary in other areas like progressive problem solving to come up with solutions to challenging problems.

Physical fitness is also a great way to deal with negative energy, turning it into positive energy which is critical to being an effective leader. Physical fitness has been a huge part of my recovery both physical and mentally.  It has inspired me to action and has created awareness and developed a bond between my fellow veterans and community members. As I went through the various stages of recovery and dealt with the limits of my injury, my confidence increased as I was able to accomplish more and more challenging physical tasks.I was not performing like I used to before I was injured but I was able to do all the activities and that is what counted. As my confidence increased so did my positive energy which could also be considered emotional energy.





Emotional energy is critical to be an effective energetic leader. Emotional energy is key in daily interactions with peers, superiors, and subordinates. Leaders that are emotionally intelligent can understand and control their emotions during the day, and when interacting with others. When people have low emotional energy that can lead to friction in relationships with others which can lead to negative energy.

A leaders energy influences people. Energetic leaders have energy that comes frommind, body, spirit and emotions. The kind of energy that locks-in commitment, gets people to go the extra mile for the team by releasing their constraints. Leadership is about unleashing the energy in the people that work for them or are around them.

So if you are a leader you should be involved in some sort of physical activity whether it is walking the block several times, running a 5K,  doing Crossfit, or an becoming an Ironman Triathlete. It will give you more confidence in yourself , make you more authentic, and inspire others to action.

Get out there and CRUSH IT!!!!!!!!!

10 comments:

  1. Nice. Even at a lower "physical" level, your points are valid. I'm definitely a "less fit" person than you, but I know that the more stressful the day, the longer the walk once I get home. I don't have any double-blind studies to know it's true that the physical activity helps me mentally -- and of course physically.

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  2. Jeanne,
    Thanks!!!! My view is if you can walk or move you are an athlete. : ) So framed that way anyone is capable of increasing their activity and fitness level. FIRED UP!!!!

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