Berger Leadership Blog

Jan 06, 2017

4 reasons exercising makes better leaders

Man exercising

One of the most common goals people set at the start of a new year is to exercise more often. Most people see this time as a fresh start to increasing their cardiovascular health, losing weight or building muscle.

However, daily exercise can improve more than just your physical health – it can also make you a more effective leader. Minda Zetlin, co-author of “The Geek Gap,” cites Chris Cornell, founder of Manhead Merch and also an avid surfer, who lists four ways exercise makes him a better CEO. His list, which is useful for all of us, includes:

  1. It gives you better perspective. Cornell explains that exercise can prevent burnout and fatigue from being factors in your decision making. “Sometimes it takes stepping away from something to get the best possible result,” he says.
  2. It ups your creativity. He says that when you’re working out, you are more “mentally sharp” and more “physically settled,” allowing creativity to take over.
  3. It helps you make wise decisions. “Balancing physical activity with work provides clarity,” Cornell says. “It brings a sense of meditative calm and a heightened sense of awareness.”
  4. It can get you through a difficult task. Working out provides the perfect time to think through issues and review processes and operations that need changed and improved, Cornell says.

The health benefits of daily physical activity are well known, and the added benefits leaders can derive from it should be enough to make everyone carve some time out of the day for a good workout. I’m an early riser and use time each morning to exercise, either walking two miles or lifting weights. We all have busy schedules, but making room for regular exercise helps me renew my focus and puts me in a better place each day.

Follow me on Twitter (@BDanBerger).