Looking after yourself

Looking after yourself

I want to talk to you about the importance of looking after yourself. It’s something that I have had to work very hard on myself, and it is something I work with leadership and executive teams to ensure they are always in optimal shape to make great decisions and lead from the front.


When we are doing work, it is important that our own values are not being trampled on.

It is always nice if there is alignment between the organization’s values and principles with your own values and principles, but the values that I am really interested in are the practice values as opposed to what is written on the wall.

How things really work and what values are applied.

How often are you expected to do things that trample on your values?

You could also be discovering that some of the values that you thought were core to you aren’t as important to you as you thought they were when push comes to shove. So, sometimes we can use tests to help us understand what is truly important to us.

Identify those values, understand why they are important to you, and be very careful about letting others trample over your values. You could end up feeling like a victim, and when you feel like a victim it is easy to be defeated by a situation and find yourself on the opposite side of where you wanted to be.

As a powerful leader who is deeply rooted in your values and principles, you could easily have dealt with that situation and got on top of it but when you are not taking care of yourself, it is easy for these situations to get away from you and make life incredibly difficult.


Nutrition is incredibly important in high-stakes environments. Eating healthy food, drinking water regularly, and making sure that what you eat fuels your brain and your body makes all the difference in the world.

It increases your vitality, clears brain fog, and energizes you for the day. Eating correctly allows you to recover from each day’s efforts and rejuvenate your body and spirit.


Investing in exercise helps you to clear out your mind and keep your body fighting fit.

It doesn’t so much matter what exercise you do, whether that’s weights or boxing classes, as long as you do it regularly and consistently. Making sure that you are in great shape ensures that your body and mind can access high performance actions and decisions.

It all helps to manage your energy and ensure that you have plenty to draw down on when needed.


Marshall Goldsmith taught me that we need to be professionals.

Being a professional means that you are aware that other people are watching your performance, habits, and behaviour, and making decisions based on their observations.

For some people, that is modelling your behaviour and performance so that they can advance within the organization and succeed, for others, their observation may be based on slightly less noble purposes.

Either way, professionalism means that you get things done regardless of how you may feel about it in that moment. If your energy is low or you get blindsided by an event, you still need to be able to draw on your reserves and finish strong.

If you consistently take care of yourself and align your habits with high performance outcomes, you are able to sail through the tough times. If you don’t, you will find it a struggle to dig deep and deliver high performance when adversity strikes.

Context is King

Do what is right for you. Do what is consistent with your values and principles, and identify which habits align with high performance outcomes for you.

We can’t always control what happens around us but we can control what we eat, what we think, and which decisions we make. We can control our mindset and we can control the effort we make.

Taking care of yourself ensures that you are guided by your own personal North Star and able to deliver high quality performances regardless of what circumstances and situations may throw at you.

John Coleman has deep experience and expertise working with executives, #leadership teams and product development teams to achieve increased #businessagility and create environments where creativity and collaboration produce high-performance teams.

If you are interested in helping your team or organization achieve greater agility and want to explore agile training options, visit our training page.

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Agile Leadership,Executive Agility
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