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Most people live their life as reaction to events that happen around them, and very few create events and define how they will live their Lives...
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ideas group blog

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

When I talk in my development workshops about the necessity of physical activity to boost your mental and physical health, the first objection that people come up with is “TIME”. The majority of my participants will come up with one of the following arguments:

With a full time job and kids at home, it is merely impossible to exercise” or “I wish I could but as you know with all the pressure that I have I can’t” or “ I want to start exercise but I need to sort out some stuff before that”. 

Even though I know that for some people it might be harder than others, all of the above are excuses that can be handled with proper time management and organization.

So instead of fighting it, I have decided to find 3 simple ways to help people increase their physical fitness while at the office.


1- Replace your office chair by a swiss ball (gym/yoga ball):

According to Spineuniverse “sitting on a stability ball can improve stability and balance because doing so is said to constantly engage the core abdominal muscles. Stronger ab muscles protect the lower back and promote better posture, and can be the result of using the stability ball.”

How to do it: To get used to it, the first time you sit on the ball don’t sit for more than 20 minutes as your bottom and back will tend to hurt especially if are not used to it or if you have weak core muscles. Every day increase the time  you sit on the ball till you spend at least half of your office sitting time on it. I know some people who have permanently replaced their office chairs with swiss balls.

2- Get yourself a pedometer:

Pedometers are inexpensive simple devices that will count your daily steps. Now there is even a free app “Stepometer” on iTunes and Google Play. With a Pedometer you will tend to increase your daily motion during office hours. One of my clients created a competition to see who of their employees totals more steps. 

How to do it: Climb stairs instead of the elevator, park your car a little bit further (not on a rainy day), walk to the photocopier and/or make your own tea/coffee so you tend to move more during the day. Depending on your dress code, try to have comfortable shoes (even formal shoes can have a soft sole and thick inner paddings). 


3- Stretch often:

Stretching is an excellent way to prevent injury and maintain your muscles in excellent condition. In addition stretching helps you have better circulation and blood flow to your muscles, improve posture, prevents pain and injury, relaxes you and improves your range of motion

How to do it: Employ the 20-20 rules, advises Alan Hedge, Ph.D., a professor of ergonomics at Cornell University. Every 20 minutes, stand for 20 seconds and stretch or shake things out. “Just 20 seconds away from your computer screen reduces fatigue and increases blood circulation,” says Hedge. Now you’ll have the power to sit up straight. And every 2 hours try the stretching exercises that are given on airplanes; remember you sit on your office chair far more than you sit on an airplane seat.


Those three simple changes in your lifestyle can create wonders in your health and fitness and it doesn’t take a lot of effort, so make it a habit.


Camil el Khoury

Posted By Ideas Group at
05:58 - AM
Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The below is an extract from the book “Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson” on how Steve reflected, thirty years after Apple went public, on what it was like to come into money suddenly:

I never worried about money. I grew up in a middle-class family, so I never thought I would starve. And I learned at Atari that I could be an okay engineer, so I always knew I could get by. I was voluntarily poor when I was in college and India, and I lived a pretty simple life even when I was working. So I went from fairly poor, which was wonderful, because I didn’t have to worry about money, to being incredibly rich, when I also didn’t have to worry about money. I watched people at Apple who made a lot of money and felt they had to live differently. Some of them bought a Rolls-Royce and various houses, each with a house manager and then someone to manage the house managers. Their wives got plastic surgery and turned into these bizarre people. This was not how I wanted to live. It’s crazy. I made a promise to myself that I’m not going to let this money ruin my life.

Part of what made Steve Jobs successful, is that he was never after money or materialistic possessions. He made a lot of money, several times in his life and through several companies, and ventures, however his ultimate goal was not to accumulate wealth but to make of his idea a reality. So money was never something to worry about, never something to focus on and never something that deviated him from his goal attainment.

The problem with the majority of people, is that, they make of the financial element, their core challenge in achieving their goals. Sara Blackely - the youngest self-made female billionaire- worked hard to save $5000 and was willing to loose all of it researching her idea of “Spanx”, she has never looked for outside investors, neither did she worry about money; she only had one goal: To help women everywhere experience the power of shape-wear to feel better about themselves. Today Spanx makes almost $250 million a year and is worth over $1 Billion.

You need to manage money and not let it manage you, at the end, in goal attainment, money is just one metric among many others.

Camil el Khoury

Posted By Ideas Group at
08:06 - AM
Monday, December 31, 2012

It is the time of the year where organizations and individuals set their targets as 2012 unfolds.

2013, a year of uncertainty and change, is a challenging one; The Euro zone is still at risk, the Arab countries in critical situation and the US fiscal cliff crisis still unresolved. So what attributes leaders need to master to achieve their targets and grow their teams and businesses sustainably?

The following top 5 is a combination of the top competencies used by leaders in the past 4 years and a speculation on the risks associated with business growth in 2013/2014.

5: Continuous development

Are leaders born or made? One of the most debatable questions. No matter what side are you on in that argument, it is a known fact that leaders should seek continuous development for themselves and their teams. This is one of the highest yielding investments, as organizations are challenged to be more efficient and definitely more creative.

Tip: Engage your team in an experiential leadership program.

4: Accountability

A good leader is a person that creates systems of delegation; Leaders should focus on strategic thinking and leave the operational practices to their team members. However this can not be done without setting parameters of accountability and responsibility

Tip: Read "Situational Leadership" by Ken Blanchard

3: Communication

One of the most important leadership attributes. Communication is much more than conveying a message; Steve Jobs managed to create a culture of trust through his communication style. Inspire trust by being sincere in your communication techniques.

Tip: Videotape your presentations, and play with your body language gradually to influence your audience.

2: Empathy

Although it is part of the communication skills, not everyone is able to empathize. Empathy is about understanding the differences in people, and allowing people to grow in their own difference without judging others. Empathetic people are able to generate much more ideas than others.

Tip: Learning about coaching, and asking more questions than stating facts.

1: Emotional Intelligence

It is of no surprise that Emotional Intelligence comes on the top of our list. Leaders are faced with thousand of situations and most of the time have to make decisions under pressure. Being emotionally intelligent is about learning how to be in control of the situation and make unbiased sound decisions.

Tip: Read "Working with Emotional Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman

Camil el Khoury




Posted By Ideas Group at
01:07 - PM
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