Success Stories

The executives I’ve coached who have had the most success are the ones who persistently incorporate a daily physical practice that helps them embody the person they wish to become.
Maya jokingly called herself a robot: "Coffee in, powerpoint out..." Eyes glazed, she overrode her fatigue with caffeine and anxiety-induced adrenalin to churn out data rich presentations. As she learned to listen to her body, she discovered that cold feet was her body’s warning sign that she was feeling stressed, and it became a trusted signal for her to set limits on her relentless workload. Though uncomfortable at first, putting her foot down and taking a stand garnered more respect from colleagues and clients, not less.

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In Stuart’s case, speaking clearly and succinctly was paramount. He didn't realize it, but his tendency to slouch was part of the problem. His intention to make others feel comfortable or less intimidated didn’t actually work - for them or for him. He discovered that sitting and standing in alignment felt more comfortable and helped him stay calm during high-stakes presentations. This new calmness helped him focus and as a result he became more clear and concise.

For Alek, a tightly wound CEO, clowning around and making silly sounds and faces helped him lighten up as a leader, husband and parent of two kids. For all of my clients, self-awareness is fundamental. Managing their bodies is a game changer because it instantly reduces stress and allows them to be strategic and deliberate rather than tense and reactive. It also helps them feel more energized, creative, happy and whole.

My Approach: Body Influences Mind

I live and work in Silicon Valley, immersed in a culture where thought leaders are changing the world with innovation and technology. I am sitting not in the heart of our country, but rather the head—in an increasingly digital age. Since the dawn of IBM, Intel and Apple, just a few miles away from my home, we’ve watched how Silicon Valley has transformed our daily lives. This laptop on which I type, the mobile phone on the desk beside me, the digital document on my screen, were all born right here.

I am an executive coach who has also been trained as a Bodytherapy® practitioner. This means that while my coaching is centered on improving people’s leadership, I can’t help but observe the posture, alignment and corresponding messages from their bodies.  I love working with my clients--leaders at exciting technology companies--but I’m alarmed by the patterns I see resulting from this always on, minds rule culture. We might as well be brains on sticks. The body and its intelligence are rarely considered in the success equation. Body hacks are more popular than body holism. My clients don’t realize that what they do physically—how they sit, stand and move - is constantly communicating messages to their whole self.

If you are leaning forward over the conference table with tight fists and a clenched jaw, while talking so fast that there’s no air for anyone else in the room, is it any wonder your colleagues feel intimidated, untrusting and even bullied? At a minimum they’re unappreciated and unvalued. But forget about them for a moment. More importantly, what are these behaviors saying to yourself? Your body is saying “I am impatient, intolerant and unyielding.” How can you possibly think creative thoughts and be engaging with others when your body is wound up and rigid? The fastest way to be truly open-minded or open-hearted is to is to embody these in your physical practice. When you cultivate openness and flexibility in your body, your structure naturally conveys that to your mind and heart.