The Engaging Leader Diary – No, Can’t Afford That Attitude

Are you looking after yourself and boosting your levels of engagement?

Over the last 6 months,  I have been exercising  4- 6 times a week with a mixture of running, cycling, weights, swimming and yoga. Two incredible interview guests who have inspired me big time have been 214 FINA Masters world swimming record holder and motivational speaker Karlyn Pipes and world iron man champion and marketing expert Jane Hansom. Both whom are a similar age to myself and have pursued their exercise ambitions later in life.

Becoming an elite athlete though was not my motivator. When my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year, I realized exercise was a brilliant way to focus some energy and improve resilience to support my family and my business. With two very fit sons, I also wanted to be able to keep up with them. Incredibly it is now less ‘Dad your fat’ instead ‘Dad show us your muscles’! Well any sign of a compliment from them is a rare sign of progress!

So last week, I read a very inspiring article entitled ‘Jane Hansom: Journey to Iron Man Champion’ which made a real impact on me. When asked ‘Are there many days when getting out to train is a struggle and you’d prefer to stay in bed? Jane replied ‘ No, Can’t Afford That Attitude’. What a brilliant response! No latitude for not exercising in Jane’s case 7 days a week! On Wednesday, I woke up and it was cold outside. Then I thought ‘No, Can’t Afford That Attitude’. I ran 5 miles.

In my keynote ‘Engagement Starts With You – How to be an engaging leader or manager’ I talk about getting ourselves engaged before we get into the workplace.
A great way to do this is through exercise. It makes sense if we are active then we will have more energy to be engaging for longer.

Thanks very much to Karlyn whose inspiration and truly wonderful interview got me swimming again after many years of absence and introduced me to Jane! Also, thanks to Jane for inspiring me with her wisdom on brand ambassadorship and wise words  ‘No, Can’t Afford That Attitude’. Not a bad mantra to take into other areas of your life too!

To listen to the interview with Karlyn Pipes on Courage to Change – the Miracle of a Do-Over

To listen to the interview with Jane Hansom on Brand Ambassadorship

If you live within traveling distance of Leicestershire in the UK and are a brave, caring leader of an organization with 10+ people or a consultancy with a large client base do check out the Let’s Get Engaged event on 17th April. The event is a free gift from us and includes the world’s most accomplished ocean rower Mick Dawson . Seats are limited to 50 places and going fast!

Chris Cooper is an engagement and leadership development specialist, coach, workshop facilitator and speaker based in the UK. He is host of the Business Elevation Show the most accessed business show on Voice America in 2017 and Co-Author of The Power To Get Things Done (Whether You Feel Like It Or Not). He is a fellow of the Professional Speaking Association and partner of Engagement Multiplier .
To contact Chris to see how he and his business can help you : [email protected]


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It was a delight to be a guest on your show. It was clear, as a host, you researched my area of expertise, which made our conversation flow so smoothly. You really know how to highlight the key nuggets for your listeners. Thank you for the opportunity. Lenora Billings-Harris, CSP Diversity Strategist

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