Executive Vitality™ Self-Directed 2020

Executive Vitality™ Self-Directed 2020Your vitality is your choice. You can enhance it, lose it, or maintain it. So often, corporate leaders put other priorities ahead of their own; let’s see what you can do to change that for yourself, like “Alice” did.

In 2018, Alice was identified as the successor to the CEO of a global business services firm. In previous years, despite her challenging and demanding job as CFO, Alice had managed to find adequate time to meditate, sleep, eat properly, exercise, spend time with family, and she saved for her future. Of course, this may sound like nirvana or a fantasy. However, it is possible with the right formula and Alice managed to maintain her vitality for a time.

Now in 2019, Alice has attained her dream job and is CEO of the company. However, she started to sacrifice her normal vitality practices and put all other priorities ahead of her own well-being. She figured, “What could go wrong? This will only last for a short period while I ‘onboard’.” In fact, priorities kept slipping. Alice gave more and more of her time to others while sacrificing her own health.

This happens to countless people either due to demands of a new job, a relocation, or illness, for example. What happened to Alice is that she slept just a little less, exercised just a little less, ate a little less healthily, and gave up some recovery and play time. The result was Alice started lashing out at others and her team noticed a difference in the quality of her decisions as well as her ability to maintain her composure.

Alice was given candid feedback by her team and she made a commitment to reignite her vitality plan. She realized that not making the necessary changes could endanger her credibility, the effectiveness of her team and outcomes for the organization. She was inspired by the words of spiritual teacher Eknath Easwaran:

“…But it takes hard work and dedication. Thoughtful people today know we don’t have time to waste. We need to set priorities and act on them with sustained enthusiasm.”

While your situation may be different from Alice’s, it is worthwhile to ask yourself if you are maintaining sufficient focus on your vitality—that is, your physical and mental health, financial health, spirituality/mindfulness, relationships, play and work. It is wise to take inventory of these elements of Executive Vitality in order to ensure you sustain your well-being.

In this Breakaway Performance, we provide a self-coaching tool. It will guide you to take an Executive Vitality Inventory and to develop a Game Plan to improve in your weak areas and to maintain your strengths (or get stronger). This is what worked for Alice.

In this tool, we are asking you to take a moment to rate (1) the IMPORTANCE to you of each of the Executive Vitality elements, and (2) your SATISFACTION with how you are doing on each element. These are ratings, not rankings, so it is possible to have duplicate ratings (e.g., all 5s).

Try this now. You may be surprised by what you come up with. Does this require some effort? YES. And motivation as well. Your leadership is only as good as your vitality.

Vitality is your choice. You can lose it, maintain it, or enhance it.


Print out the PDF to do your Executive Vitality inventory and Game Plan.

Use Table 1 to jot down your ratings of IMPORTANCE and SATISFACTION for each Executive Vitality element. A completed example is provided at the end of the article for your reference.


Inventory Scale


Satisfaction Scale
INVENTORY: My Ratings for IMPORTANCE AND SATISFACTION, and GAPLook at all the 5s in Importance first and then, the 4s, etc. Does your Satisfaction reflect the Importance to you (gap = 0) or at least do they align directionally? What do you need to do to improve or maintain strength/grow stronger? For example, if Financial Health is rated 5 in Importance and 2 in Satisfaction, then clearly some effort needs to be shifted to that element.

Game Plan

Now for the GAME PLAN. We call it “FROM-TO.” In Table 2, briefly describe your assessment of where you are now on each vitality element and where you want to be. In other words, put some words around why you gave yourself the Satisfaction rating for each element (e.g., Financial Health: if Satisfaction rating was 2 you might say: “Spending is overbudget; savings plan is not automated”). Or for Play: if Satisfaction rating was 2: “Have not played in 6 months.” Then what do you want to do about it? That is the TO column. Importantly, set specific measurable goals in your FROM-TO GAME PLAN. Refer to the end of the article if you want to see a completed example.
Table 2 GAME PLAN: My FROM-TO Game Plan

My FROM-TO Game PlanLaunch Pad

This month’s Executive Vitality™ Breakaway Performance provides a tool and also serves as a launch pad for the next few months where we will examine each of these elements in detail and you can work along with us. Refer throughout the year to the GAME PLAN you created – come back to it, follow it, update it, change it.

The goal is to keep each of these Executive Vitality areas firing on all cylinders. Don’t be Alice when she first got the CEO job; be the renewed Alice once she regained a handle on her Executive Vitality.

Once you’ve completed these exercises, you will be empowered with tools to explore each element in depth for lasting, perhaps life-changing, results. We have much more in store for you in optimizing your leadership through vitality.

See you next month with more self-directed Executive Vitality strategies.

Which elements of executive vitality are you on top of? Where do you need to shift your effort?


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