Walk Your Dog – Even if You Don’t Have One…

No time to reflect? Too busy working, dealing with life?

(Photo courtesy of Ramair on Flickr)

Take heed from one of North America’s busiest executives, Mike Zafirovski, President and CEO of Nortel:

In an interview with Gordon Pitts in the Globe and Mail, Zafirovski is asked: “Do you get any quiet time to think?”

He responds: “All the time, and the best time is when I’m exercising. I try to do some exercise every day…..”

In his interview, Zafirovski talks a lot about his study of leadership. Well, if you’ve been reading previous posts, you’ll know that self awareness and reflection time are important for both personal and leadership development.

On my end, I relate to his comments. I run several times a week (for 28 years!) and walk as well. I find those are often my most inspiring times for reflection. The brain relaxes…and insights, ideas just flow.

Not surprising: Activities that lend themselves to reflection are usually those of a repetitive nature and can be done solo — e.g. walking, running, cycling, swimming, etc. Sports that require your undivided attention and focus and interaction with others are great (for exercise, fun and comaraderie) but not for the reflective experience Zakirofksi is referring to.

So if you are time crunched and having trouble carving out reflection time — not to mention exercise time….then why not do both at the same time?

This reminds me of a talk delivered by Millie Cooper, the wife of the renouned Dr. Ken Cooper (father of aerobics). I was in New York many years ago for a fitness conference (for those that don’t know, I have a fitness degree and worked in that field for about 8 years in a previous career). She talked about the merits of exercise and said:


Words of wisdom….and I never forgot that quote. Enjoy – and have a super Monday and a TGIM week….be back real soon.


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