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How to Manage the Stress of Success and Be Flow Ready!

“I’m in a high state of arousal and if I can have a relaxed receptivity and stay present to it, then I’ll be in flow.” – George Mumford

Often executives share with me that they need help managing the stress of success, that is figuring out to how stay present, engaged, and grounded when they feel an upswing in their energy levels (e.g., anxiety) that results from meeting new challenges and opportunities.

George Mumford, author of the Mindful Athlete and meditation teacher to Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and countless other NBA players, is grounded, practical, and inspirational.

He explains how your mind can trip you up or make things better – and how to be more mindful, in the moment, and in the zone. Mumford talks about the stress of success in terms of the anxiety associated with talent, freedom, and possibility. He calls this dizziness of freedom and goes on to say that you can manage the stress (and anxiety) through mindfulness and ultimately, find your greatness, something he calls your own Michelangelo masterpiece within.

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What Makes Great Entrepreneurs, Salespeople, and Business leaders?

While there are key similarities among highly effective entrepreneurs, sales people, and business leaders, there are also differences.

Some key differences, as pointed out by Waverly Deutsch in his article What Great Entrepreneurs, Salespeople, and Business Leaders Have in Common (Fall 2018 Chicago Booth Review), include:

Entrepreneurs 

  • Motivated by a desire to own outcome
  • Thrive in uncertain environments
  • Natural salespeople with high persuasion skills
  • according to Butler’s Insights CareerLeader Study

CEOs 

  • Make decisions with speed and conviction, even when lacking data
  • Engage for impact by aligning people around the goal of value creation
  • Adapt proactively by thinking about the long term and acting quickly to change
  • Deliver reliably on commitments and create accountability
  • according to Kaplan and Serensen’s Insights gh Smart Study

Salespeople

  • Enable others to act by collaborating on value creation
  • Model the way by reliably meeting commitments
  • according to Kouzes et al.’s Leadership Challenge Study

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Why Meditate? Reduce Stress, Increase Focus, and Be Nicer to Yourself and Others!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR 28 DAY MEDITATION CHALLENGE, STARTS SEPT 22nd!

“When we’re in tune with our inner wealth ­– the qualities of compassion, contentment, patience, and so on – it’s endless, it’s timeless. Those are qualities that we’re all born with. Everybody. The whole process of meditation is all about trying to dig into this inner wealth, to access it.”   – Trinley Thaye Dorje

Based on my work with clients, benefits of meditation include:

  • A self-awareness and awareness of the environment around you
  • A calmer, more grounded executive presence
  • Improved ability to regulate emotions, navigate difficult situations, and manage conflict
  • Gains in creativity and innovative thinking
  • Deeper active listening skills (being more present and patient)
  • More compassionate towards others and less critical of one’s self
  • Improved concentration and clarity of focus
  • Enhanced perspective (the ability to see different sides and points of view)
  • Stronger, richer, and more fulfilling relationships

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Be Generous, Be Joyful, Make a Difference, and Get Back to Work!

Our family met Ari Weinzweig on a recent visit to University of Michigan while we were eating at his restaurant (he was the water boy, refilling our glasses!). Humble, approachable, and kind - we had no idea that Ari was the founding partner, along with Paul Saginaw, of Zingerman's Community of Businesses with + 600 employees. He even handed my son his business card and offered to help him if he needed anything. I was inspired by Ari's focus on community values, artistic creative expression, prolific writings, and business success.

Check out two inspiring videos by clicking on the links below to learn more about Zingerman's philosophy on business and community leadership, generosity, joy, and making a difference

Key themes

  • While vision, values, equality, customer service, marketing, and making money are all important, they believe that what we believe makes a big difference
  • An organization’s purpose is to serve the people who are part of it – not the other way around
  • Being a good human being is good business
  • Generosity is self-perpetuating
  • Little things matter the most
  • It is a life long challenge to manage ourselves effectively
  • Work hard at learning

How Do You Serve?

I slept and dreamt that life was joy.

I awoke and saw that life was service.

I acted and behold, service was joy.

—Rabindranath Tagore

Mindful Leaders: What You Can Learn from Basketball (and Phil Jackson)!

In this inspiring Super Soul conversation with Oprah, Phil Jackson, called the Zen Master and greatest basketball coach of all time, shares his journey as a seeker and how he used his background in Christian mysticism, Native American Rituals, and Zen Meditation as guiding principles for his work as a coach.

What resonated!

  • Spirituality means trusting in one’s own intuition and having the courage to lead from a place of authenticity. That is, leading from the inside out versus following someone else’s leadership rules.
     
  • Spirituality is also about esprit de corps, the spirit among a connected group of people, the idea that we’re in this together.

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Altered Traits! An Inspiring Read for Mindful Leaders!

I highly recommend Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Much Meditation Changes your Mind, Brain, and Body written by two leading PhD scientists Richard Davidson and Daniel Goleman.

Davidson and Goleman discuss their own experiences as lifelong meditators, their travels to ashrams and retreats all over the globe, and their meetings with yogis and monks – including the Dalai Lama. A must read for anyone interested in learning how meditation affects the body physically, mentally, and spiritually.

In addition to talking about how meditation leads to altered traits (what’s an altered trait? read on!), they review scientific studies done on meditation over the last fifty years, ancient practices of meditation, how the West tried to replicate them, the beginning steps to becoming an advanced meditator, and what deep meditation is.

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