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Leader Wellness: Changing Corporate Health Culture

Workplace wellness has become quite the catch phrase in the world of corporate health and it seems like everyone is “doing it.” While large-scale wellness programs might be a good way for large companies and organizations to try and whip everyone into shape, I don’t think it’s the right approach for everyone.

In fact, for many organizations, the old adage “small things make a big difference” rings even more true for health and wellness initiatives. You don’t leap off the couch one day and decide to run a marathon. You train first. The same concept applies to workplace wellness. Trying to make a sudden change magnifies the potential for a failed program and leads to low participation rates and wasted resources implementing and running the program.

At Diamond6 Leadership and Strategy, LLC, we believe that health and wellness play a vital role in effective individual and organizational leadership. For this reason we are further developing workshops and offerings in this area to continue delivering an innovative and holistic approach to leadership challenges.

During recent workshops, participants discussed ways to integrate meaningful yet simple health and wellness changes into their organizations. Here are some examples of what other organizations are doing that inspired our participants. I hope they will give you some ideas and inspiration as well.

Active Meetings
John Fahey, CEO of National Geographic magazine has an open invitation for anyone in the company to join him for his lunch-time bike ride. For many employees, it’s a great way to get the bosses ear in an informal and relaxed setting. In a recent interview with NPR, Fahey said “what happens is, I find out sort of what the scuttlebutt in the hallways is. And sometimes, it’s totally ill-informed and sometimes, it’s spot-on. But it’s really good to know what people think.” Other ways of incorporating this concept is to work in a daily 20-30 minute walk around the school track or circle the block a few times. The important thing to remember is s to be consistent and make sure that other managers in the organization support attending the sessions. You will be seen as an approachable leader who takes fitness seriously and knows how to integrate it into your daily life.

Dump the Doughnuts
Who made the rule that doughnuts, bagels and pastries are required in the waiting room, at meetings or company events? Chef Ann Cooper (also known as the “Renegade Lunch Lady”), the Director of Nutritional Services at Berkeley U.S.D. asked the same question about school lunches. She pushed the envelope and put salad bars into all Berkeley schools. In a 2007 Ted Talk Chef Ann Cooper said “everyone said it couldn’t be done…kids would spit in it….” Now, what does this have to do with the doughnuts at your next meeting? Challenge the assumptions about meeting food. Try healthier choices such as bananas, apples, pears, cucumbers, nuts, sliced cheese and hummus dip. Serve water and iced tea instead of soda. You may be pleasantly surprised that people will be excited about these changes. So much so that they will be encouraged to make healthier choices at other times. One added bonus, people will be more alert and participate more during the meeting because they won’t be overloaded on carbs and sugar.

Stop the Stress
Job and stress are often synonymous for many of us. According to the American Institute of Stress, nearly 1 million Americans are absent from work each day due to work-related stress. Stress not only has poor effects on us mentally but it can also lower immune function and even have a negative impact on our heart. The biggest problem with stress is that many of us don’t know how to deal with it properly. Providing people with “stress education” is an effective, affordable way to help people deal with stress in a healthy way. At Quantum Health in Ohio they have taken it just one step further. Employees created a “serenity room” a dimly-lit private room with massage chairs and soft music for people to relax and unwind. A recent Inc magazine article provides a comprehensive list of other ways to help reduce stress in the workplace.

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Tanya McCausland, N.E. is a holistic health and lifestyle coach and founder of EatFit. LiveWell. She has made it her mission to help individuals and organizations successfully make positive changes that will have a huge impact on their health, happiness and bottom line.

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This article is from our July, 2011 newsletter. Click here to view all our newsletter articles and features.

Welcome to the Diamond6 Newsletter

Welcome to the first issue of “Lead the Way,” Diamond6’s new newsletter

Since 2004, I have been conducting leadership development workshops and seminars for educators, business people, law firms, non-profit organizations and the like. As a recipient of this newsletter, chances are, you attended one of my events.

Last September, I founded Diamond6 Leadership and Strategy, LLC. Diamond6 is a leadership development and consulting business based on all the seminars and workshops I’ve taught over the last 30 plus years in the military and as a independent consultant. Diamond6 pursues a simple, compelling mission, to help develop effective and confident leaders so they can make a positive impact on their organization and the world.

People who attend our workshops leave with:
– clear strategies for implementing positive change
– insights into how they can further develop as a successful leader
– ideas on how their organization can be more innovative
– a team with whom they can confer with and discuss future decisions

In each issue, we will include leadership tips, strategies and resources. I will share current events and articles that will help you learn valuable leadership lessons from. Plus, we will offer an interesting feature on leadership health and wellness. We firmly believe you can’t be an effective leader unless you take good care of yourself and the practical nutrition and lifestyle advice we offer will be very useful for everyone.

In the past seven years we have received feedback telling us that our workshops are “life changing,” “eye opening,” and “the most valuable development workshop ever attended.” While these comments are incredible and generous, I’ve always found that our participants have been the ones who’ve taught me amazing lessons about leadership and opened my eyes to new approaches in developing leaders. I’m looking forward to continuing these seminars and workshops with current and future clients.

If you know of anyone who might be interested in leadership development, our innovative workshops or could benefit from the information we have to share please pass our newsletter on to them. You can also join us on Facebook by clicking “like” on our Diamond6 page. Help us spread the word!

All the best,
Jeff and the Diamond6 Leadership Team

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Check out the articles in our inaugural July, 2011 issue:

Interview: The Future of the Armed Forces, Leadership, National Security

Ed Ross, former DoD senior executive, retired U.S. Army intelligence officer, and defense industry consultant talks with Jeff McCausland, U.S. Army, Ret., about the future of the U.S. Armed Forces, leadership, and national security. Mr. Ross is the host of The Ed Ross Hour on the USA Talk Radio Channel on Blog Talk Radio.

Listen to internet radio with EWRoss on Blog Talk Radio

The Death of Osama bin Laden

(Article published courtesy of The Carnegie Council)

May 1, 2011, the world learned of the death of Osama bin Laden, leader of al Qaeda and the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. In an unprecedented late night broadcast President Obama broke the news to the nation. The president’s remarks were somber and reflective. They were hardly celebratory, but he underscored that the search for bin Laden had been a top priority since his election. He explained that the attack had been conducted by a small group of special operations troops (later reported to be Navy SEALS) and that bin Laden’s body had been taken into custody to verify his identity. There were no U.S. casualties. Bin Laden was living in a million-dollar mansion in Abbottabad outside Islamabad and had been there for a number of years.

The president further emphasized that the U.S. effort had been relentless and that justice had been accomplished. This would seem now to leave us with four important questions.

CLICK HERE to read the full article.

Surprising Anniversary – Gettysburg 50 years later

We recently came across this incredible video telling the story of the 50th anniversary reunion of the Civil War which was held at Gettysburg in Central Pennsylvania. Thousands of Union and Confederate survivors came together for three days to find old comrades and remember the great loss of that war. With the war still fresh for most people these two sides staged an interesting and heartfelt re-enactment of Pickett’s Charge. View the video below to hear about this moving act of forgiveness.

After watching this video one of the principles we teach in the Gettysburg Leadership Seminar came to us – the need for leaders to “overcome.” Each of these survivors indeed had to overcome unimaginable odds to attend and participate in this reunion and we believe that leaders today can learn a tremendous amount from them.

William Faulkner is quoted saying “history is not was….history is.” At Diamond6 Leadership we endeavor to teach this in each one of our workshops and seminars. We use history to illustrate key leadership lessons and discuss concrete and specific changes leaders can make in their organization to affect positive and lasting change.

Has history influenced your leadership style? How and why?
What changes have you tried to make in your leadership style?

Change in the Middle East: a Longer View

(Article published courtesy of the Carnegie Council)

Events in the Middle East have continued to change so rapidly that it is nearly impossible to make any short term predictions. The dramatic if not historical changes that we have witnessed over the past eight weeks is a reminder of a saying by Lenin, “Sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen.” There appears to be a very real possibility that the United States may become directly embroiled in the conflict in Libya.

Still, it may be useful to examine the current military and security relationships that the United States has with several key countries that are experiencing dramatic political change. As Yogi Berra once said, “It is hard to predict anything, especially the future!” This is clearly true today, but one thing does remain certain. The United States has critical security relationships with a number of countries in the region. None of these are immune to the ongoing dramatic political changes that are occurring.

CLICK HERE to read the full article

The Osgood File: Handing the Libya Mission to Nato – Sort Of

CBS News Military Consultant Jeff McCausland was asked to give his thoughts at what the new coalition agreement means. Dr. McCausland answers the question “Will the United States have to redefine what President Obama has stated as U.S. policy: that Colonel Qaddafi must go?”

For complete transcript and audio please visit The Osgood File website.