Survive or Thrive in 2014?

Will you survive or thrive in the New Year ahead?


I’m feeling inspired and set for the New Year ahead after a digital detox during a triathlon training camp in the beautiful Australian Alps!

In seven days we completed 12km of swimming, 370km of biking in the mountains (including up to Charlotte’s Pass and Thredbo) and 55km of running (including the beautiful Kosciusko run to Australia’s highest point). This was a welcome detox after the Christmas silly season and a kick start to my Ironman Training with four months to go until my debut race in Port Macquarie! It also gave me ample time to reflect, unplug from work emails, social media and phone reliance as much as I could.

Dani Kosciusko

This reflection time gave way to my first 2014 blog post on the subject of corporate wellbeing, timely with many of us reflecting over the break and ready to start the New Year with new healthier working habits!

Just before the Christmas break I got together a group from the IECL and my wider network to discuss corporate wellbeing, does it exist in our Australian workplaces and what can we do to promote it?

We agreed corporate wellbeing was higher on the agenda pre GFC and is now coming back strongly with movements such as Conscious Capitalism and Humanity in Business.

“The new breed of conscious business leader cares not only for its staff, but also for the customer, the supplier, business stakeholders and for the community it operates in.   This leader believes that business has a bigger responsibility towards the community that it operates in and that to ensure a sustainable and long term profitable business, people must come first.” Source:


Here are my top five tips that came out of our session to start your year well and ensure you are closer to thriving than surviving on the continuum of life!:

  • Make time for Recovery: Recovery is critical in physical training (recovery weeks, tapering) as all athletes know but why is this principal not always transferred into workplace project cycles? You wouldn’t jump straight into a marathon after completing one but we do this on huge projects in the workplace. A concept I learnt on Avril Henry’s ‘Great Leaders are Made’ program is Dr Adam Fraser’s Third Space: Reflect (What just happened to me?), Rest (Can I turn off and relax?), Reset (How will I show up?)
  • Embrace Silent Time: Where is the reflection time in busy corporate lives? Schedule time for plugging out and have some quiet time in your busy days. It doesn’t have to take a long time, we just need to create the space. For me this can be as little as 5 minutes outside on the ferry each morning.  Proof of the value of quiet time: Einstein had lots of quiet time which is where the theory of relativity came from!
  • Give rather than receive: Research shows the importance of giving opposing to always receiving, try being extra generous with things such as information or your time, karma will come back to you
  • Balance your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual capacity: Imagine you have a bucket of each component and be mindful of energy in and out striving for balance (today I enjoyed a relaxing yoga class after all the triathlon training stress my body has undergone)
  • Have Purposeful Work: Find purpose and meaning in your work which research has shown increases energyengagement and wellness at work

Work Life Balance

A key point raised during our discussion was that we need to give ourselves permission to live a life of wellness and be courageous when interference’s challenge the balance. We also need to overcome guilt associated with being still and taking time out for ourselves.

The title of this blog is the Corporate Athlete and to finish I wanted to share the abstract from a powerful article my great friend and triathlon coach Nicole Ward shared with me recently:

“Some executives thrive under pressure. Others wilt. Is the reason all in their heads? Hardly. Sustained high achievement demands physical and emotional strength as well as a sharp intellect. To bring mind, body and spirit to peak condition, executives need to learn what world-class athletes already know; recovering energy is as important as expending it.” Source: HBR: The Making of the Corporate Athlete: by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

I challenge us all to integrate these aspects into our lives and wish you all a thriving 2014 full of energy, positivity and possibility!



HBR: The Making of the Corporate Athlete:

Examples of leaders showing humanity in business: Richard Jamieson (CFO, Westpac) and Phil Hay (Head of Life Insurance, BT) sharing that they love their people in an authentic way

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