Archive for Health

Do You have the Qualities that Make Olympians World Class Inspirational Leaders?

Posted in Amanda A. Anthony, Inspiration, Leadership, Professional Development, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2012 by amandaaanthony

I started this entry 2 weeks ago, during the first days of the Olympics. Time passed & tugging guilt remained for not having made the time to finish it…turns out maybe I need to bookmark my own thoughts on what we can learn from Olympians. Read on & see what you think!


Competition Means Constant Improvement…Forever.

In the spirit of the Olympics, I can’t help but feel a little inspired by the greatest athletes in the world coming together for the toughest competitions in each of their sports.  What can we, as leaders, learn from Olympians? Here are some of the top qualities that come to mind:

Discipline: To me this is the most impressive quality of this caliber of athlete. These tremendous athletes & their families sacrifice so much to get them to where they can compete at this level.  Obviously the physical discipline to exercise, train, eat properly,sleep, recover, etc are evident.  What about the discipline to get up early, train long hours without quitting & make choices that enable them to stay “on track”?

Think about the families, who often have to make crucial choices, commitments…to practice financial discipline…to save & plan to come up with the resources necessary to get the best coaches & training opportunities for their Olympian.  To give up their own needs & wants to help fulfill the dreams of their loved one…that is something.

Perseverance: Haven’t we all wanted to quit? Every Olympian seems to talk about this, in a very matter-of-fact manner. To me, this quality is a double-sided admirable trait. On the first side, the sheer will to overcome challenge is admirable & aspirational. On the other side, the honesty & candid nature makes me admire & respect them even more. Admitting your moments of weakness in an articulate manner, in front of millions of people takes talent.

High Standards & Ownership: This only-the-best-is-good-enough mentality is contagious…like a tonic for success. Not settling for imperfections, trying to always do your best…no matter what. That is the core of any good leader. Even when these athletes don’t deliver #1, what you hear is that they tried their best, they will keep working, & usually acknowledging the superior performance of the winner. Wow. Let’s all emulate the articulation of this sentiment of respect.

Character: Overcoming Adversity: I can’t hide it. My favorite stories are the ones that bring a tear to my eye or cause me to call out to my husband, “Can you believe this?!” Many of these World-Class Athletes have overcome hardship I cannot imagine…yet accomplished things out of my personal reach. Again, WOW. What is it that sets them apart? I believe it is their ability to overcome adversity. The drivers vary between individuals but much of it boils down to sheer character. And that is a character I want to emulate.

Attitude: Failures lead to success. This is not a new concept if you read these types of writings.  Sacrifice & Failure are both merely stepping-stones to the place most of us want to be: Success. And there is no route that avoids these roadblocks….they are actually the rights of passage. The only question is what happens when each person confronts these challenges.  Olympians have the ability to maintain the right attitude to persevere to be successful NO MATTER WHAT. Attitude takes work, discipline, perseverance & character.

In other words, these leadership qualities to be the best winners in the world are interconnected…perhaps the ability to execute all at once is what sets them apart.

Wow. More World Records. Bigger Better Accomplishments. Who else is motivated to become the “Olympian” in their field? Four more years to take these examples until the next round of world class athletes appear to give us that special motivational tonic! Who is going to bottle it? See you in Rio, Baby


amandaaanthony: Success: What does it Take? And Where Does Work-Life Balance Fit In?

Posted in Amanda A. Anthony, Business, Inspiration, Leadership, Professional Development, Uncategorized, Work-Life Balance with tags , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2012 by amandaaanthony

amandaaanthony: Success: What does it Take? And Where Does Work-Life Balance Fit In?:

Success: What does it Take? And Where Does Work-Life Balance Fit In?

Posted in Amanda A. Anthony, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Professional Development, Uncategorized, Work-Life Balance with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2012 by amandaaanthony


I went to lunch with a friend and mentor of mine recently who has owned his own successful company for many years, and he said to me:

“Amanda, I don’t work. I love every minute of what I am doing and it is mine, so this is not work-it is play. I play all day.”

A powerful statement & an aspirational goal to any newly starting entrepreneur…but really isn’t this what we all seek for true happiness, success and personal fulfillment? And maybe this has something to do with more than just passion & luck to find the “right career”? Maybe this is beyond capability and experience.  Maybe this ties back to the ever elusive balance I have been seeking for most of my professional career…

Passion & Drive to Win

I have been passionate in just about everything I have done professionally…even the assignments I didn’t particularly enjoy. The reason? Frankly, I like to win. I always have; my family, friends & husband will all tell you I am a relentlessly competitive game/card player. I love facing new challenges & designing strategies to overcome them which is something that translates both personally & professionally.


I cannot say that I have never been tempted by superstition…but with that said, in recent years I have far less patience for others who cast luck as the responsible party for good (usually in others’ lives) & bad (usually in their own lives) decisions. We make our own luck.  As a famous entrepreneur said in a recent interview:

“The harder you work the luckier you get.  We are each presented 20 doors-you can call it luck; you create your own opportunities.”-@robertherjavec

Opportunities Won, Opportunities Lost

This is called experience in my book…and it eventually translates into capability, depending on our ability to learn along the way. The key is to take the personal emotion out when things don’t go the way we plan (which can be difficult), try to reach & learn from the situation, then move forward without baggage.  Learn from the past. Be Present. Dream of the Future.

Success = Happiness = Achieving Balance?

I am not the best (yet) at maintaining work-life balance…in fact I am just starting to get a grip on what this must mean/feel like once you achieve it. I have had the tendency to go “full speed ahead” in one or two areas at a time, slowly letting other areas slip, then readjusting the sails as needed.  Examples: A) Working outrageous hours, taking on more & more professionally, but letting my social life and/or health slip. B) Full engagement on my health & fitness along with work, but letting personal time suffer…You get the idea.

Now that I work for myself, it is not any easier to achieve balance. The difference is that now when I work too much, it’s for me, so in some ways it doesn’t feel like work. I have been on vacation for a week but when I check emails or work a little in between, I enjoy it & don’t have difficulty disconnecting afterward.  I recognize that it is early in my independence and I am not yet generating income, answering to stakeholders or facing crucial deadlines…but I wonder, is this a little closer to balance? When your work is enjoyable enough that the lines are blurry with fun time?

The tides are always shifting, the sands moving, the trees growing, the earth turning & changing…as are we. So the challenge remains how to keep everything moving at the right pace to keep balance. I will let you know what I think about this one a little later in my new career;)

If you haven’t read “The Four Agreements” by Miguel Ruiz, it is an excellent and practical guide to happiness that is a perfect accompaniment to my thoughts above.

Please share your thoughts on my blog!

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Twitter: @amandaaanthony


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