Executive Insider

How CEOs Can Stay at the Top of Their Game by Putting Wellness First

Michelle Greene Rhodes, MHS, RN, CMCN
Michelle Greene Rhodes, MHS, RN, CMCN

As a CEO, you’ve got a lot on your plate. You’re dealing with busy, unpredictable schedules, late hours, ample travel time and many conflicting responsibilities vying for your attention. While this demanding and energizing lifestyle might be one of the things you love most about your job, it also takes a massive toll on your health. In order to function at your best, it’s vital to prioritize fitness, get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet. It’s also equally important to steer clear of habits that can adversely affect your health and your productivity at work. When you are constantly on-the-go and prioritizing your business over your own personal needs, you risk counteracting all of your efforts. Contrary to what you might think, when you put your health and wellness first, you actually put yourself in a position to contribute at a higher caliber. Plus you’ll have less stress, more time for your family and a better quality of life. I’ll go over a few easy ways to integrate wellness into your life.

Unfortunately for CEOs and other high level executives, it’s the traits that drove you to be successful in the first place that are the same ones urging you to push your limits and sacrifice your personal needs in order to succeed. That doesn’t mean you have to sit back and accept your fate however. Instead use your regimented nature and proactive attitude in your personal life as well. It’s likely that you know how important it can be to take an hour for yourself before you start the day, but if you’re doing it alone, it can be easy to skip when business calls. Instead arrange to work out with a colleague that you respect. This way, you’ll be less apt to skip the morning walk, gym session or yoga class.

In your position, you’re probably quite used to gathering others together for a common purpose. Use your ability to inspire and motivate, and put together a group of your peers to partake in some physical activity or sport together. Not only will this be a great way to keep in shape; it’s simultaneously an ideal way to release pent up stress and tension. Also keep in mind that when you exercise, it helps you get a better night’s sleep. So rather than burning the midnight oil strategizing your next move, call it quits for the day and release some steam through physical activity. You’ll wake up refreshed, energized and better able to tackle challenges the next morning. I promise.

Michelle Greene Rhodes, MHS, RN, CMCN
Michelle Greene Rhodes, MHS, RN, CMCN

From your position in the C-suite, you have an active say in what the culture of your business will be. Make it a priority to incorporate wellness initiatives into your company culture if they are not already there. Not only will this mean that your employees get to partake in self care practices, it will make it easier for you to maintain that focus in your own life. Something as simple as switching out the vending machine snacks into things that are a little bit healthier can go a long way. Also be amazed at how productivity and efficiency increases when you encourage employees to participate in a wellness activity while on the clock. Yes, I said on the clock – it not only sends a great message, it truly makes people more productive.

The scarcest resource among CEOs is actually time. With so much to do, it can be difficult to find the time to focus on wellness. When you finally finish with the business obligations, you go home and focus your energy on your family, which is great, but it’s still attention being directed on others, not yourself. If you’re like most CEOs, the majority of your time is scheduled; very little of it is spontaneous. With that being the case, realizing a drastic improvement in wellness is as easy as scheduling that personal wellness time into your calendar. After all, if it’s on the calendar, it’s as good as done.

When you approach your wellness like another component of the job, it’s likely that it will get done well and consistently. That will give you time to strategize about all of the ways you can more effectively incorporate wellness into your life. Make time not only to nourish your body, by exercising, eating right and getting sufficient sleep, also schedule time to take care of your financial life. Make smart choices about where to store your money, how to use your finances to support your wellbeing and how to make wise investments.

When you’re stressed, exhausted and pushed to your limits, you truly don’t do your best work. As a CEO, it’s vital that when you show up to work, you’re operating at your best. After all, when you’re good, you’re really good. Don’t sacrifice your health in order to give back to your business. Nurture your body, and watch how taking better care of you, nets you better results in your life all around.


Written by Michelle Greene Rhodes.

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Michelle Greene Rhodes, MHS, RN, CMCN
Michelle Greene Rhodes is a Registered Nurse, International speaker, sought after trainer, 8 x author, and Executive Coach. Her signature system: “The M.I.M. Technique” that helps Nurse Executives keep their staff optimally well via the mission, immersion and mindset. Michelle is the Founder of Michelle Rhodes Media LLC, Greene Rhodes Consulting and The Color of Wellness Magazine. Healthcare turns to her for her way to motivate and engage communities, innovative thinking, and ability to move populations toward positive change.


Michelle Greene Rhodes is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. You can follow her on LinkedIn. For more information, visit the author’s website.