3 Tips for a Healthy Core

Are you truth starved or truth seeking?


In this video, Dr. Tim Irwin, author, leadership consultant and speaker, gives three practical tips for ensuring that your core is always healthy and humble: be intentional about introspection; keep an eye out for your ego; and relish feedback. 

Take a deep dive into what it looks like to live out each of these practical tips in this video, and complete the action items to apply the learning to your own life. 

How do we stay strong? How do we become brave? And I think that's the quote I'd like to say is somebody who's the wisest person in the world said that, "Guard your core above all else, for it determines the course of your life." I think this statement basically says it. In other words, we have to guard our core. We have to learn to protect it. We have to learn to make it strong. And that, once we do that, I think it's what allows us to be brave. 

Guard your core. How do we do that? What are some practical things? There are some things that I'd love for you to just take away this afternoon, that you can just start literally doing today to help you your guard your core. 

First is frequent, intentional introspection. Now, a lot of us don't like to do that. I mean, we don't like to look under. I have one of my best friends says, "I'm a shallow coper." He's being very honest, but he doesn't like what he sees inside. He doesn't like to look inside and see what's going on there. But I think we have to be intentionally introspective. 

I know a lot of CEOs who do this as a specific discipline every day. They specifically spend 15 or 20 minutes at the beginning of the day looking at their calendar and trying to figure out: "Okay. What's happening in my day? Who are the people I need to be concerned about? What should I be on guard about?" Just specifically thinking about their own internal process, their own reactions to the people they'll be meeting with. 

So frequent, intentional self-examination. You know, I think this is something that I mentioned Anthony Weiner before, I think this is something that he would have benefited from, actually going and looking at himself, looking at his own motives, trying to figure out: "What is going on with me? Why am I driven to this?" 

The second thing is to be really, really careful with power, position, fame, influence, money, and success. You know, we've all known the person who was a manager in our organizations, and he or she started out as a perfectly likeable person. We enjoyed working for them, perhaps. But over time, they'd get promoted to bigger and bigger jobs, get a bigger office, more money and so on. And at some point, they turn into a person we really don't like that much. And what power and position often do is they erode our core. They make us much more susceptible to these influences that are around us. And so this is why I tell people to be really careful about power and position, fame, influence, and so on.

There's a quote I like to show people, from a major US company's executive. And just read that with me. It says, "I worry about getting caught up in my own importance and missing what I should be doing in leading my company and serving its members. I could easily wake up one morning blind to the path I followed to my own personal destruction." What a profound insight. He has realized that, as he has gone to a very senior level in this organization, it was already working its way on him, and he says, "I've got to stay. I can't be blind to that influence." 

The third thing that I would strongly urge you to do is to relish feedback. We all need feedback. So many of the people that I meet today are truth-starved. They don't get much feedback. If you're rising in the level of your organization, I can promise you that people are increasingly reluctant to tell you the truth. They won't speak the truth to you, and I find that to be almost universally the case. 

Part of this, I think, is having accountability. I recommend that people all get a personal board of advisors, a personal board of directors if you will. I've benefitted tremendously from this over the years. I've had people that if I'm wrestling with something and need an opinion, I'll go to them. I'll have breakfast with them and talk with them. And I encourage everybody to do this. Get a personal board of advisors.

Dr. Tim Irwin

Dr. Tim Irwin has consulted with a number of America’s most well-known and respected companies including SunTrust Banks, Chick-fil-A, Bank of America, Corning, Inc., IBM, The Coca Cola Company, Hoechst-Celanese, Gerber Products Compan...

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