My Leadership Lessons From P90X(2)

I discovered P90X during the summer of 2010. It changed my life.

If you’re not familiar with P90X, here’s a brief overview from Wikipedia:

P90X, or Power 90 Extreme, is a home exercise system developed by Tony Horton in conjunction with Beachbody.com . It claims to significantly improve physical fitness in 90 days through a rigorous segmented training program combined with a nutrition and dietary supplement plan.  P90X’s advertising emphasizes “muscle confusion”, a method of cross-training and periodization achieved through switching the order of exercises and incorporating new and varied movements. Muscle confusion supposedly prevents the body from adapting to exercises over time, resulting in continual improvement without plateaus.

Here’s my own personal, brief overview: It’s hard! It kicks your butt everyday!

I’m now in the process of completing P90X2. While it’s similar in format, the workouts are very different. Basically, it’s all about your core…and your arms and legs come along for the ride. I’ll complete my 90 days on March 25, 2011.

There’s a lot that you learn about yourself when you put yourself through a rigorous process like this. I liken it to climbing a mountain. In order to get closer to your goal each day you have to climb. The only way to the top is to climb. No climbing, no progress.

As I’m working through P90X2, I can see how it connects, relates, and effects other areas of my life. For the purpose of this post, I want to focus on leadership. Specifically, how P90X2 (and the first one) has taught me some valuable lessons that enhance and encourage my leadership.

Discipline in one area fuels discipline in other areas.

The other day, I posted a tweet that said: When people ask me how to spell discipline, I tell them: D…A…I…L…Y! Discipline is so powerful because it’s so daily. One day at a time, repeat. I am discovering that the momentum that comes from doing P90X2 on a daily basis is fueling the discipline to write more, think more, and accomplish more.

Personal fitness and health gives one energy to do more.

This is one of the best rewards from P90X2. Increased fitness and health translates into increased energy. Some people feel like they don’t have the energy to exercise. Yet, I find that I have more energy when I do exercise. Some people feel like they don’t have the time to exercise. Yet, I find that I make better use of the other hours when I take one hour to dedicate to my personal fitness.

Modeling is a leader’s best illustration.

It’s simple. As I DO P90X2, people notice the change. They’ll see how I’m reshaping myself. Most people want to get in better shape. But a lot of people struggle with it. They are looking for someone who has figured it out. When they find out I’m not simply exercising, but I’m engaged in extreme fitness on a daily basis, I gain credibility. Credibility translates into influence. This is the type of influence that comes from modeling. People are more willing to do what they see. It’s the power of example at work.

Respect

There aren’t a lot of people who can do P“90”X2. It’s not just the time commitment, difficult workouts, or being in poor shape physically. It’s the perseverance to stick with it and climb the mountain. I see a lot of people on Twitter who have done P”3“X or P”10″X. But very few can say they’ve done all 90 days. There’s something significant and a great sense of satisfaction for one who is able to claim that he or she is a P90X Grad. Respect comes from those who look on from the sidelines, thinking to themselves, “I could never do that.” Hopefully, I can take that respect and use it to encourage them by replying, “You can. Not all at once. But one day at a time. For 90 days in a row.”

Are you a P90X grad? What lessons did you learn from your experience?

 

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