This week we launched our CEO Engagement Challenge, encouraging leaders to complete simple and fun health, well-being and work challenges for 21 days throughout the holiday season. I wrote about my first challenge - reconnecting with an old friend - earlier this week, but was eager to see what the rest of the week had in store.
Day 2: Take a walking meeting
Well, this seems like one of the easier ones for me. I take walking meetings all the time — probably 5-10 in a week. Today's sojourn was a routine walk to the delicious Chipotle Mexican Grill (yes, they are a Limeade customer, too) with the marketing team.
See Riley and I engaged in witty banter.
Actually, on the way over I got to talk strategy with one of our newer team members, Shauna. I find that the simple physics of walking in parallel with someone — focused on what is ahead — totally changes the dynamic of a meeting. Walking meetings remove some of that "negotiate across the table" vibe.
As walking peers, we discussed the relative importance of individual will and social engagement in driving behavior change, and how introversion and extroversion affect how you perceive that relative importance. We also discussed how introversion/extroversion affects how social or personalized you want improvement programs to be.
This allowed me to share some of what we have learned in the past eight years about why social engagement is such a strong anchor for culture-building, learning and growth, but also how providing personal improvement plans and engagement options for self-directed people is critical.
Before it got too academic and ivory tower, we helped her order a burrito bowl. Then we looked at pictures from Stephanie's hair-raising hike on Kauai, in awe. Good times.
Day 3: Perform a random act of kindness
I tried thinking of something kind, but also truly random. I couldn't just counsel a job seeker or say thanks or tip well. We all do these daily. No extra brownie points.
In fact, thinking of this challenge as something I was going to write about, made it inherently harder — perhaps even self-serving and egotistical. Look how my kindness will light up the world! I started small. My first half-step was sticking my parking sticker (with an hour still on it) on the city parking machine. I say half-step because I'm not even sure that's legal, plus my friend Dave gave me the idea.
Then, in front of the Seattle landmark Dick's Drive In, I was asked for a dollar by the man who was camping on the sidewalk right in front. He looked miserable, shuffling in the 20-degree chill.
Because he asked, was giving him the money less-than-random? More important, I wasn't sure it would even be kind. (I have good personal insight into ways mental health and addiction issues manifest themselves, and what helps and doesn't).
But as I did the brain versus heart tussle (and my brain usually wins), I saw that Dick's had set up a safer, more structured mechanism for helping with homelessness.
Change for Charity gives money to real charities focused on real personal and cultural problems. I took the $4.96 in change I happened to have and a $20 bill (the soggiest one) and dumped it in there. For me, this was rare, random, probably a little bit kind, and way better for me than for anyone else.
Day 4: Play a brain game