How to Make Physical Activity a Cornerstone of Your Leadership Style

Endless stressful hours. Little time for exercise. Bulging waistline.

This does not need to be the recipe for “success” as an effective leader. Instead, by intentionally making physical activity a core part of your leadership approach and taking care of yourself, you can do an even better job taking care of others.

Here are a few ways to weave activity into your workday and leadership style.

Walking meetings

Take a few minutes and dissect your calendar for today. Any meetings that you could take out the door and handle on the move?

The walking meeting is a very healthy way to multitask – the meeting gets done while you and your colleagues get some steps in. I particularly find success in having 1x1 meetings on the go. It’s a great way to connect with your team members in a comfortable, conversational way.


We often view a mid-day walk as a refreshing break from our work. This is a fantastic, carefree way to spend a walk!

However, don’t be afraid to designate a walk as a purposeful tool in your workday. If you’re like me, you sometimes need a change of environment to help you think through topics of magnitude.

Have a difficult decision on your mind? Lace up your shoes and get out the door! The trifecta of moving, thinking, and soaking in nature tends to spark increased clarity, creativity, and confidence.

Give it a try. Declare a working walk with a prescribed issue to solve or decision to ponder. Then, get going and get thinking. Get ready to be surprised. Ideas and answers that hide in the corners of your office find a way out with a dose of movement and some fresh air.

Take care of yourself

“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”

We’ve all heard this quote before.

As leaders, it’s easy to dismiss care of self in exchange for solving business issues or helping develop talent. Keep in mind that physical activity is a very effective way to keep your cup full and fresh.

“Selfishly” investing a small amount of time each week on your physical well-being has the potential to make you a more selfless leader. The time spent sharpening yourself pays dividends in energy, focus, and confidence – all critical components to be the best leader you can be.

Take care of yourself so that you can do an even better job taking care of others.

From time management to better meetings. From strategic thinking to better relationships. Physical activity is a go-to, often underutilized leadership tool.

Being intentional about incorporating this tool into your daily approach will make you a better leader… and a prime example of how wellness and work successfully coexist in your organization.


Mark Cumicek 
Engagement & Operations Leader

Mark helps Motion Connected bring energy and action to their strategy. He loves helping people grow and thrive along the way! Mark provides creative strategic advice, cultural insight, and project leadership in a way that embraces Midwestern values.

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