In 2007, I was at the front of the oncoming credit crisis: Working on Wall Street, overseeing interest rate risk and trades at one of the nations largest investment banks. I was growing weary of my job — I felt stressed out, uninspired and unhealthy. So I laced up my running shoes and hit the road.
Seven years later I’m helping run a company I co-founded, taking care of a pair of newborn twins with my wife and am in the best shape I’ve ever been in my life. While others may view spending an hour or 90 minutes each day on physical fitness as a luxury, I’ve come to see it as a necessity.
I’m not alone. “Executives who exercise are significantly more effective leaders than those who don’t,” according to research from the Center of Creative Leadership (CCL). “Time invested in regular exercise, even if it means spending less time at work, is correlated with higher ratings of leadership effectiveness.”
CCL performed a 10-year study comparing executives who regularly exercise with those who don’t (or only hit the gym sporadically) and compared it with 360-degree reviews of their work performance with their colleagues. “We found that the exercisers rated significantly higher than their non-exercising peers on overall leadership effectiveness,” writes Dr. Sharon McDowell-Larsen, co-author of the study. “They also scored higher on specific traits including: inspiring commitment, credibility, leading others, leading by example, energy, resilience and calmness.” Read more…