To lead is to move: the role of physicality in leadership

August 5, 2020
By Rowan Belchers

Earlier in the week, I was designing a Masterclass supporting the “Hello CEO ….” initiative and the phrase “Step out, Step up, Step in” popped onto my note pad where I generate my ideas.

I looked at the phrase for a while, sensing it was important but not immediately grasping why.

Later in the week, it dawned on me. Leading inevitably involves movement. It is a physical act: making decisions, changing direction, halting, evolving, initiating, accelerating, course-correcting.

I have been thinking about movement since then. I’m not talking about movement for the sake of fitness or wellness. I’m talking about the role movement plays in your:

  • Confidence;
  • Your assertiveness;
  • The quality of your ambition;
  • The quality of your resilience
  • Your ability to act decisively and
  • To think big.

I am not an expert in this area by any means – and, in fact, have developed a worryingly sedentary habit of my own over the past decades. I am fairly certain though, that the more oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine, endorphins we put in our systems through movement or exercise, the better we will lead. (If you are interested in this, read this very simple little book – The Science of Positivity by Loretta Graziano)

Leadership does require ‘stepping in’ – something akin to a gladiator stepping into the arena and preparing for battle. This doesn’t connotate violence, of course, but it does suggest that front-foot action is required.

I see this through the lens of adding value: will another framework, idea, template or article move you forward? Or will rising energy that leads to clearer intent and decisive action gain you more ground?

I am increasingly convinced that bodywork is a very alive and available path to take toward better leadership and better performance.

Rowan Belchers

Rowan Belchers

Rowan is the founder and CEO of Lockstep, a business leadership consultancy. Lockstep works with CEO’s, executive teams and future leaders globally, partnering with clients who seek customised leadership solutions. Rowan is a highly respected advisor to CEOs with over two decades’ experience in guiding businesses and their leaders towards reaching their fullest potential. Rowan leads The CEO Project, a Lockstep initiative.
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