But when the going gets tough, the tough go...ice skating?
Yes, says Celia Irvine, ice skating. Taking up the sport was one of the leadership tools that helped her navigate a time of significant change at her company. How did it do that?
"This activity--like yoga or raising orchids--requires total concentration. When you're moving fast on a hard, cold surface wearing razor blades on your feet, you tend to pay attention to what's around you. The payoff is that, like Zen, you forget about everything. Afterward I always felt more focused and relaxed. And that well-being rubbed off on my colleagues, family and friends. I knew I had to stay on an even keel to keep up my end for everyone."The key for leaders right now, she says, is to embody three important traits: empathy, trust, and collaboration. Anything you can do to make yourself more relaxed, more authentic, and more "in the moment" can help you deliver these qualities for your team.
So find yourself a Zen activity -- whether it's meditation, ice skating, raking a Zen garden or my personal favorite, surfing -- and watch the benefits spill over at work, even when you're in crisis mode.
What activities can you recommend that make you a better leader? Share your ideas in the comments section.
(image by Olivier Bruchez via Flickr, CC 2.0)