Want to gain a competitive advantage? Learn how building your mental fitness can make you a stronger business leader.
As a business leader, you know that the ability to face unexpected changes is part of the job — especially now. Whether adapting to a hybrid model combining remote and in-person work, or shifting your marketing strategies to accommodate a public that has increasingly embraced e-commerce, you need to be agile and resilient.
In my work as CEO and Founder of Executive Strategies Group, an executive coaching and leadership consulting firm, “agile” has a very specific meaning. I help business leaders with their neuro-emotional agility — also known as mental fitness — so they can clear obstacles to success and happiness. In my webinar Become the Leader People Follow, presented as part of Supporting Strategies’ Virtual Business Fundamentals Bootcamp Series | Chicago Far West Suburbs, I offered business leaders advice on how they can improve their mental fitness to better navigate these challenging times.
Here are some of the key takeaways.
Feeling Stressed? You’re Not Alone
The brain’s response to stress is universal. As a leader, your natural reaction to disruptive events is to turn inward and become a workaholic. You just put your head down and try to power through on your own, because it would take too long to explain your reasoning and your methods to someone else, much less take the time to actually train your whole team.
And while that might feel like the right approach in the moment, it’s actually counterproductive. When we are under duress, we tend to take a negative mindset and give in to our mental saboteurs.
Here’s the most important thing you need to understand about those saboteurs: They lie to you. And they convince you that things are much worse than they really are. So the key to success in trying times is to banish your mental saboteurs and listen instead to your inner sage.
Science Is on Your Side
This isn’t just happy talk. Research by the Positive Intelligence organization involving more than 500,000 people has resulted in a metric called PQ, or positive intelligence quotient. This research, led by lecturer and New York Times bestselling author Shirzad Chamine, has helped identify 10 specific types of mental saboteurs — including the Judge, the Avoider, the Controller, the Victim and the Stickler — that can undermine your effectiveness as a leader.
The research also provides a framework for strengthening your positive mental muscles and developing the sage portion of your brain so you can show up as your best self in difficult times. Best of all, PQ is not an absolute measure that compares you to everyone else. It’s simply a measure of how you’re performing against your potential.
Positive intelligence is not the same thing as “positive thinking.” These exercises actually help you develop new neural pathways to your “sage” mind — pathways that are visible on an MRI. Your mental fitness regimen tones your brain in the same way physical exercise tones your body.
You can see an example of a Positive Intelligence exercise (boosting your self-command muscle) during the webinar. And if you’d like to learn more about how to boost your PQ and be a more productive and inspiring leader during these challenging times, I’d be happy to schedule a meeting.