Leadership: Are You On Center or Off?

There’s a popular running method called Chi Running where the coach advocates running from the dan tien—the centermost point of life force in the body. Running from this center point increases the ability to run faster, longer, and more easily—and reduces the chances of injury.

Leaders, too, can through habit or the force of external circumstances run themselves or their companies off center.  It’s a pretty simple diagnosis. But, because executives and managers have a confounding amount of information demanding their attention, arriving at that diagnosis can be problematic without the objective perspective from an advisory board or trusted advisor.

Off center for an individual shows up in the symptoms you experience that directly impact your performance, your leadership team, and your organization.  Those symptoms include having no time to think strategically, getting pulled into situations that should be the purview of others like direct reports, or lacking life balance.  Health issues are clear indicators of being off center.

Here are three things you can do right now to help center yourself:

  1. Schedule regular time to think about what’s most important and game changing for your company, or if it’s a personal leadership issue, for you. The ability to separate yourself from the issue so that you can think “about” the issue is golden. Thinking methodologies like leadership or organizational constellations which respectfully create a visual representation of a situation are exceptionally effective for solving problems ranging from the straightforward to the complex.
  2. Schedule or block out time to not think. Physical activities that are simple and task-focused are where clients say they get the most renewal. Activities can range from the CEO who gardens to the one who hang-glides off cliffs.
  3. Bring your attention to your heart breathing slowly “into” it and “from” it for several counts. This effects both your parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous system calming the fight or flight response. Choose an affirming or positive outlook and spend a moment on it. Your perspective will change in seconds. You’ll have access to a qualitatively superior way to see situations and think about them.

Off center or centered? Here’s to running yourself and your company with reduced chance of injury, increased speed, and decreased effort!


U.S. Library of Congress ISSN 2164-7240

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