Some leaders like to talk about leading wellbeing. Personally, I get more enthused by those who put their words into action. That’s why, as part of Wisdom Works’ The Face of Wellbeing Leadership series, it was a delight to have a heart-to-heart with Jorge Casimiro, Vice President & COO of Global Community Impact at Nike. He is passionate about leading and living wellbeing. Here is an excerpt from our conversation.
Renee: When I say the words “leading wellbeing” what does that mean to you?
Jorge: I’ve been asked that question a couple of times since I’ve come to Nike. I think leading wellbeing means creating an environment that enables people to achieve and strive for personal wellbeing however they define it, whether it’s about family, physical health, a passion for community, career progression, or a combination of all of that.
Renee: If you had the full attention of leaders globally, what would you say are the three most important things they could do to create this kind of well-being inspired culture?
Jorge: 1. Trust your team. 2. Be comfortable with not having total control. 3. Find your wellbeing personally. The reason most leaders don’t think to lead wellbeing in their organization is, quite frankly, that they haven’t found it for themselves
Renee: Say a little more about what it means to find well-being personally …
Jorge: Back in October, I hosted a global offsite for my team. We talked about track and field star Steve Prefontaine (often known as “Pre”), one of the original Nike employees. (Steve had this amazing mustache that has been incorporated into Nike lore.)
Steve was what we would call today a brand ambassador; he connected people with Nike through his incredible passion for the brand and for sport. Using Steve as an example, I challenged my team to “find their Inner Pre.”
Your Inner Pre is what you’re passionate about, what gets you out of bed, what gets you most excited in life. It doesn’t have to be what you do for work. Without your Inner Pre, you’re never going to prioritize your life over work or have the kind of balance needed for being happy and effective, at work or at home [personally or professionally].
Renee: So, what is your Inner Pre?
Jorge: My Inner Pre is my family. It’s my kids and my wife and because I know that, I choose to structure my life around them.
Renee: How does your Inner Pre show up in practical terms?
Jorge: I try – emphasis on “try”! – to end my meetings by 4 so that I have time to wrap up my day and get out of the office by 5. That gives me time with my family at night. I also go to my kids’ open houses at school. When I have offsite work dinners, I often go home beforehand, even if for 10 minutes, just to say hello and get kisses from my wife and kids. Where I chose to live, work, and the distance between the two are also informed by making my family my priority.
Renee: Anything else you’d want to tell leaders about leading wellbeing?
Jorge: These days, employees are hyper-connected and involved in a million different things. The world is a very different place than it was even 10 years ago, and it’s going to change even more in the future. Any leader who wants to attract the best and the brightest must learn how to lead a culture of wellbeing; the best and the brightest today expect it.
What fuels your wellbeing? Do you have an Inner Pre? Tell me about it in the Comments sections below.
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