Resiliency and Performance: Expectation Versus Reality

I recently spent two days speaking at the Yale School of Management to a group of upper level, international executives. They were a bright group – as all of my audiences are – but it’s shocking how often brilliant people overlook one critical thing: expecting consistently high levels of performance without much thought to taking care of the body and mind that provide and sustain superior performance.

Many executives make poor quality food choices, go for long periods of time without eating anything, overeat, drink too much, or try to survive on caffeine or nicotine. Yet they expect to have the energy needed to put in productive 10-12 hour days, 5 or more days each week.

In addition, a large percentage of executives are mostly sedentary. They sit for extended periods of time each day, don’t exercise, their muscles turn to mush and have much higher levels of body fat than is considered healthy. Yet they expect to have the strength necessary to put in a full workday, then come home and meet all family and personal obligations.

About 75% of my audiences admit to having issues with quality or quantity of sleep. Yet the expectation is to hop out of bed each day fully energized, focused on their top priorities, and to be at the top of their game all morning, all afternoon, and well into the evening.

When asked how they’re managing their stress, they report turning to high fat/high sugar foods, alcohol, smoking or other unhealthy behaviors, inadvertently adding more stress to an already overloaded system. Yet the expectation is to keep moving forward in the face of stress without sufficient recovery or training.

Do any of these resonate with you?

Stress causes companies to lose $200-$300 billion a year, is behind more than half of the 550 million working days lost each year because of absenteeism, and eighty percent of medical expenditures are stress-related. High performing organizations have realized the need to provide resiliency training required to perform at high levels for extended periods of time in the face of stress, to minimize burnout, drive down health related costs and to maximize human capital.

Our unique yet intelligent approach is based on sound, scientific principles of exercise physiology and neurobiology that focus on how to train the body to be more resilient to stress – it is possible to increase your threshold for stress as well as to recover from it more quickly and efficiently. These techniques not only improve resiliency, productivity and performance, but also health, energy and the organization’s bottom line.

Our dynamic speaking engagements combine interactive exercises and enlightening information that provide simple, effective resiliency strategies employees can incorporate into their lives right away. In addition to understanding how to become more physiologically resilient, they will learn nutrition strategies that minimize stress on their bodies and improve energy, performance and health. These strategies utilize foods that can be found anywhere and encompass a wide variety of options so that executing the strategies on a daily basis is attainable for anyone. Participants will also learn how cardiovascular interval training helps expand resiliency to stress and be given a unique tool to be successful with exercise. PowerHouse Hit the Deck™ exercise cards provide a cardiovascular and resistance training program that can be done anytime, anywhere with no fitness equipment – perfect for anyone who travels or can’t make it to the gym.

If you want to be productive you need to put quality nutrients into the body at regular intervals. If you want to have energy you need to get off your butt – not only spending less time sitting on it, but also getting it moving. Cardiovascular exercise improves the oxygen carrying capacity of your body (oxygen = energy), boosts energy levels, and makes you more resilient to stress. Resistance training creates muscle mass that in turn generates more energy. Regular exercise also increases the quality of your sleep and recovery. IT’S ALL CONNECTED.

I work with business organizations every week to help them improve their performance and resiliency. It’s not rocket science or brain surgery – it’s simple, proven strategies anyone can do regardless of travel schedule, geography, time or status.