Leadership Learnings on Necker Island- Part 3

After a great first couple of days (which you can read about in my previous posts Part 1 and Part 2), where we were challenged and inspired by fantastic stories of purpose driven success, our final sessions were designed to highlight the important role physical and emotional health play in achieving our goals.  Once again, Business Chicks and Virgin Unite had two amazing speakers lined up ready to change our thinking.

First up was Dr Libby Weaver, who we’d all been in awe of for days – I’ve never seen anyone who absolutely radiates good health like Libby does before.  Her skin glows, her hair is so thick and lustrous, and her attitude to life is just as lovely.  She is a brilliant example of the benefits of the lifestyle she espouses, which is all about ensuring that you maintain health and energy to support the life you want to lead.

Libby has a PhD in biochemistry and spoke to us about the challenges that result when we don’t get the nutrients required for basic cell to cell communication.  Fatigue is the first warning sign that our nutrient balance is out and our biochemistry is not working effectively, and we need to pay attention to the messages our body is giving us, particularly the recurring ones.  She told us that the choices we make today impact what our future looks like, and that owning your own worth helps you make the right choices, which makes so much sense.

In a message that really hit home, she talked us though how habits and behaviours that drive excess adrenaline and cortisol production mean that we can eat well, exercise regularly, but still be fat and getting fatter.  Adrenaline pushes the use of glucose to fuel our escape from danger, but constant adrenaline surges make the body efficient at using sugar for fuel instead of fat.  Cortisol lays down fat in response to the threat of famine, and if we don’t stop creating days filled with pressure and urgency as our norm, no matter how much good eating and exercise we do we won’t create the change we want.

I know many of us have already started on her challenge to schedule time each day to do 20 long slow belly breaths, and her words around helping managing cortisol and adrenaline production by staying connected to the privilege we have in living a life which has all its basic needs met (which so many people in the world don’t have) definitely hit home.

I’ve downloaded her books to my Kindle and can’t wait to explore this thinking further as it made a huge amount of sense.

Next up was Marianne Williamson, internationally acclaimed spiritual author and lecturer.   Marianne spoke about how we are all programmed for an abundant life, just as an acorn is pre-programmed to turn into an oak tree, but have disconnected from the natural intelligence that delivers that outcome.  To activate that natural intelligence and allow us to fill our purpose, Marianne challenged us to use prayer and meditation to plug us in to our power, provide that reconnection, and reach our potential.

She spoke about evolutionary forces that elevate us, and devolutionary forces that keep us suppressed and unable to achieve our full potential, and actively resisted the idea that anybody did not have enough time in their day to commit to 5 minutes of closing their eyes and sending love, peace and positive thoughts to everyone in your life and workplace, calling it one of the ultimate devolutionary thoughts.

Marianne suggested so much business training these days is like white sugar, giving you adrenaline rather than nourishment, and that we need to move away from aggressive language & concepts like ‘taking the bull by the horns’ and instead think of it as letting angels push you from behind, ie recognising a force greater than yourself at play.  She believes the way to kick ass in business is to dedicate yourself to making a difference that benefits other people, and that if this is your motivation then success will follow, as opposed to goals that focus on making money or destroying things that matter.

She was absolutely fascinating to listen to, and while the approach and messages were quite different in each presentation my key takeouts from Libby and Marianne were a need to give meditation a serious try, both to get those hormonal surges under better control and to reconnect to that inner acorn.  I’ll keep you posted on how I go….

Each of the speakers we were fortunate enough to hear from over the 3 days, while all having very different styles and businesses, all had a singular point of commonality.  They were each driven by an incredibly strong sense of purpose, with their activities focused on and driven by achieving positive change for many many people.  Not one of them referred to financial success as a driver for what they were doing, instead viewing it as the enabler which allowed them to either continue to grow their core business activity and reach more people, or expand further into other areas and activities of benefit.  

So much inspiration, and so much food for thought, all delivered in this incredibly beautiful setting. 


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