Connecting a Longer Lifespan to Healthier Leadership
CEOs often define success as building a company that can outlive them. But your business might fulfill that dream by default if maintaining your health isn’t high on your priorities list. You can’t keep putting KPIs ahead of what your mind and body are reporting without harming your wellness, limiting your lifespan, and crippling your performance potential at work.
That’s why “Live 120 Years Young” will be one of the Four Groundbreaking Event Themes at the 2024 Make BIG Happen Summit, April 26-27 at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel. And as we prep for this year’s event, CEOs can incorporate these ideas on wellness and longevity from our keynote speakers into their 2024 planning.
Peter Diamandis: Discover Your “Life Force”
Being a CEO is largely a mental exercise. To paraphrase James March, you’re the company’s poet and plumber. Your unique combination of creativity and critical thinking is what allows you to set BIG annual goals and establish the daily, actionable steps that will move your company towards them.
But your mind isn’t some vague, unknowable thing — it’s part of your body! And the information stored in your brain that you tap into every time you make a decision as CEO comes from a much wider variety of experiences: your relationships, trips you’ve taken, books you’ve read, miles logged on your bike, etc. How you manage the totality of your wellness is going to determine how you perform at each individual task, including work.
In the new book he wrote with Tony Robbins, entrepreneur, author, and futurist Peter Diamandis calls that totality your “Life Force.” On the physical side, Diamandis believes that a new generation of medical technologies can help CEOs stay on top of their health and improve lifespan. But to make the most of these breakthroughs, CEOs will have to start incorporating wellness into their daily routines.
Start by taking advantage of one of the most powerful “forces” at your disposal: your schedule. You’re the boss! How you spend your time is largely up to you. Just blocking off half an hour every day for a long walk can start your journey towards a healthier, happier, more productive you.
Peter Fioretti: Be as Passionate About Your Health as You Are About Your Business
Of course, most CEOs know that they need to exercise, eat well, unplug, and recharge. And they know that they have the power to build time for wellness into their schedules.
So why don’t they?
Because the pressures and demands of being a CEO can feel all-consuming, especially if you’ve built a company from startup to BIG. Or, CEOs put so much energy into running the business that they don’t have any energy left for other aspects of their lives. Motivation can also be a hurdle: time spent on a treadmill often can’t compete with the highs of closing a major deal or hitting a BIG long-term goal.
Sometimes it takes a rude awakening to realize that the reasons CEOs have for neglecting their health are really just excuses. That’s what Peter Fioretti, Founder and CEO of Mountain Funding and Mountain Real Estate Capital, experienced when he was diagnosed with an arterial blockage at age 58. Doctors told Peter that he had a “cardiac age” of 68. He vowed to change his life and improve his potential lifespan by putting as much passion into his health as he did his work. Peter threw himself into mountain climbing, hiking, diving, and biking. In 2018, he and his brother were the first unassisted trekkers to reach the North Pole. In 2022, Peter reached the South Pole. He’s a Future Astronaut with Virgin Galactic, prepping to journey into space. And as a result of all that passionate living, Peter’s “cardiac age” has dropped into the 40s.
Not every CEO has an extreme athlete inside waiting to burst out. But if your wellness routine doesn’t get your heart pumping, changing your routine could improve your potential longevity and lifespan. Try new sports or exercises that interest you. Set BIG fitness goals, like completing an IRONMAN or winning your club’s tennis tournament. Learn how to cook healthier meals. Invest more into your wellness and the payoff will be profound in all aspects of your life.
Dr. Matthew Dawson: Plan for a Healthy Future
According to Dr. Matthew Dawson, what we think of as health care is really “sick care.” Most of the time, we use our health insurance when we’re not feeling well. Like Peter Fioretti, we make changes to our diet and exercise routines only when our backs are against the wall.
In business, good CEOs plan ahead to identify and prevent problems rather than just react when bad things happen. And just as the predictive power of AI is going to help CEOs anticipate snags in the supply chain or shifts in consumer habits, new healthcare platforms like Dr. Dawson’s Wild Health will help us identify risk factors for illnesses and strategies for improving lifespan.
But whether a doctor or an AI analysis of your genes tells you that you need to get serious about your health, planning is what’s going to ensure follow-through. The time you block off in your schedule to exercise should be as ironclad as the time you’ve reserved for your next board meeting. To ensure progress towards fitness goals, use the same process you use in your business: track, measure, and manage every day, whether you’re recording runs on your smartwatch or crossing off consecutive days at the gym with an old-fashioned pen and wall calendar. Those daily wins will be a visible reminder that you have a wellness plan, and it’s falling into place.
Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe and Adam Sud: Make the Healthiest Choices Today
When she was 16, Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe was driving through an Ontario blizzard when her car crashed into the Otonabee River. As icy water filled her lungs, she hoped that her body would succumb as quickly and painlessly as possible.
In 2012, Adam Sud was at rock bottom. His struggles with addiction and mental and physical health problems led to a suicide attempt.
Today, both Sud and Dr. Hanley-Dafoe are renowned mental health experts who remind audiences that choosing to change our lives is just that: a choice.
Rather than give up in an impossible situation, young Dr. Hanley-Defoe unbuckled her seat belt and fought her way through her car window and a sheet of ice to the surface of the river, where she was eventually rescued.
Adam Sud survived his near-death experience and got treatment. He healed his mind and his body, even embracing a plant-based diet to lower his body weight below dangerous obesity levels.
Even at our darkest moments, none of us are powerless. And when the way forward is uncertain, if we’re humble enough to admit we need guidance, we can turn to loved ones, mentors, and coaches who have the care and the wisdom we need to get moving in the right direction again.
Kaia Roman: Open Your Mind to New Possibilities
At the beginning of 2023, some CEOs were dismissing AI as a fad and demanding that their employees return to the office. Other CEOs were investigating how to adapt new technology to their specific business needs, and perhaps broaden their pool of available talent.
As inflation and high-interest rates became the defining economic stories of the year, the CEOs who’d been willing to think outside the box had both the data and workforces they needed to adjust their annual plans without lowering their annual targets.
And CEOs who stayed inside their comfortable boxes might find themselves stuck there permanently.
Advances in longevity and lifespan will be met by similar skepticism, especially in areas like AI, mental health, and psychedelic medicine which come with a fair share of baggage and misconceptions. Kaia Roman, a Silicon Valley-based biohacker and entrepreneur, wants to demystify this new wellness frontier so that more people can experience healing, mindfulness, and above all, joy.
Your willingness to embrace new ideas about the intersection of tech, medicine, wellness, and lifespan could be a key to personal and professional success in 2024. We hope you’ll join us in Miami in April to continue this important conversation at the 2024 Make BIG Happen Summit.
About CEO Coaching International
CEO Coaching International works with CEOs and their leadership teams to achieve extraordinary results quarter after quarter, year after year. Known globally for its success in coaching growth-focused entrepreneurs to meaningful exits, CEO Coaching International has coached more than 1,000 CEOs and entrepreneurs in more than 60 countries and 45 industries. The coaches at CEO Coaching International are former CEOs, presidents, or executives who have made BIG happen. The firm’s coaches have led double-digit sales and profit growth in businesses ranging in size from startups to over $10 billion, and many are founders that have led their companies through successful eight, nine, and ten-figure exits. Companies working with CEO Coaching International for two years or more have experienced an average EBITDA CAGR of 53.5% during their time as a client, more than three times the U.S. average, and a revenue CAGR of 26.2%, nearly twice the U.S. average.