The Business of Well-being Episode 2: Takeaway Tips from Fiona Flannery
The Business of Wellbeing Episode 2:
On the second episode of The Business of Wellbeing Podcast we caught up with Fiona Flannery who
is the CEO of DEPFA Bank plc, a financial services institution specialising in public sector finance.
Fiona is a passionate advocate of fitness and wellness in both a person’s professional and personal life and firmly believes that employees are happier and perform better if organisations include these activities and structures in their corporate values, internal communications and HR systems.
Fiona carries this philosophy to her personal life where she has a routine of daily exercise as well as setting herself medium and long term personal challenges by completing several half marathons, endurance races and professional learning programmes. As a busy mum of two boys, she is passionate that her children are exposed to positive healthy initiatives ensuring they adopt these values and activities to assist them to deal with the work/life stresses they will encounter in their own lives.
Here are 5 of the key takeaways for Personal Success from our chat with Fiona.
The Morning Ritual
One area that Fiona emphasised on several occasions was the importance of her morning ritual and how this has developed over the years through hard work. Contributing a lot of her success to a strong start to the day with activity and strategic personal planning making up the early part of the day.
Everything from nutrition for the day to her top priorities, hitting the snooze button is something that Fiona has learned to avoid in order to benefit and take control of her day before the day takes centre stage. One very interesting fact though is that this is something that wasn’t developed overnight (no pun intended) it took time to build in the habit of getting up 30-60 minutes early in the morning Fiona mentions.
We can take solace in the fact that leading CEO’s work constantly on themselves, in this case developing a morning ritual which encompasses success, it means we can all work on this skill. The place to start is to get out of bed once you wake up, resist that snooze button, and build on that resilient mindset.
Another great point made by Fiona is that we constantly need to stretch ourselves out of the comfort zone in the areas in which we want to excel. This has been a common theme in the Podcast so far but Fiona details how a positive stress mindset can only be developed when we are exposed and tested by stressors that may be outside the norm. Building a growth mindset towards stress will only enhance our ability to take on and deal with challenges both in our personal and professional life. This again is not something we can develop in the short term but rather a habit that is built over time which we must work on every day. A quick action step for you is to begin to analyse occasions in which you let the stress of a situation get the better of you, in most cases we will realise that it was actually a lack of emotional control which left us feeling drained not the stressful situation itself.
The Secret Is To Stick With It
In one of the latest books I am reading by Angela Duckworth PhD called Grit, the author speaks about the key to success she discovered from years of research and study and it is not in fact talent, what separates most of us is passion and persistence.
Fiona has recognised this over her career and advises us all that the secret is to stick with it. We all know how hard certain areas of life can get but we also know from experience that everything in life seems to pass (eventually). I do not want to sound cliché, but have you ever wondered in an area of your life that if you had stuck it out just a few more months you may have reached your target. The cartoon picture of the guy with his pickaxe digging for diamonds springs to mind, as he decides to turn around and give up what he is not aware of is he is two more swings of the axe away from uncovering all that treasure. I am not saying you should follow a dream that is so unattainable that it would take 2 or 3 lifetimes to achieve but maybe there is a point that before we do decide to call it a day we should weigh up the facts, explore your values and vision and ask yourself the question like every good boxer do I have another round in me.
Surround Yourself With People Who Support and Elevate You
“If you want to go fast go alone, but if you want to go far go with many.”
Surrounding yourself with people who support and elevate you is something Fiona holds close to her own success, mentioning the importance of having good mentors but also being available to function as the mentor for others, how both can benefit and help guide your journey.
Whilst touching on this point Fiona also brings up the need for social interaction and how it is so crucial, we do not lose this. It is during these conversations in which we can make the breakthrough to the next level of our potential. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who you feel might not give you the time of day as paying it forward is a principal that many successful men and women live by and you can be assured they were once in the shoes you may be in now.
Nourish your Body and Mind
The final nugget we are left with is the role that our body and mind play together in the attainment of true success or as I like to call it happiness. We need to consider both elements in all that we do, committing to not compromising either is a mantra that Fiona lives by.
I have witnessed this first-hand as a coach to Fiona and seen how she now incorporates breaks from work to attend yoga and meditation retreats to enable her body and mind recover and recharge from the rigors of our day to day life. I am not saying you need to book yourself into a retreat but maybe incorporating meditation as a daily habit would be a great place to start as it really is the mind that provides the inspiration for the body, before you pick up the runners or jump on that spin bike why not check in with yourself in the absence of any outside stimuli. Trust me your nervous system will thank you.
The FitVision Business of Wellbeing Podcast: