Sharma: How Exercise Affects Leadership

You know I’m an evangelist for the idea of being ultrafit if you want to be the best of breed. Getting into world-class physical condition is one of the smartest moves you can make. Exercising will make you look better, feel stronger and fill you with boundless energy. Staying fit will even make you happier.

The past week has been a time of great change for me. I’m reengineering my business to make it more focused. I’m coaching my team so that they know the new standards and goals. I’m pushing myself harder to get more done and generate better results. And I’m lifting the bar on the size of my dreams. I need to make a bigger difference; I passionately feel that. As I go through all this, one of the practices serving me so well is my daily pilgrimage to the gym.

I remember a professional speaker named Peter Urs Bender once telling me: “Robin, some people go to church each day. Well, my church is the gym. And each day, that’s where I go to get blessed.” I also remember a participant in one of my leadership seminars sharing: “Exercise is an insurance policy I’ve taken out on my health. And each day that I go into the gym, I’m paying the premium.” Yet another person told me recently at a book signing: “Good health is a crown on the head of a well person that only a sick person can see.” Smart points. Wise people.

No matter how busy I get or how much pressure is on my shoulders, a good workout makes me feel at ease. I come off the treadmill feeling relaxed, full of joy and with a sense of perspective over the issues on my plate. I get so many big ideas while I’m running and such clarity while I’m lifting weights. And staying fit keeps me happy and positive. Look, I know I’ll never be Mr. Universe. But because I care for my health, my life will be a lot better, more productive and longer than if I didn’t. And that’s good enough for me.

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