Stress Resilience

with Paul Campbell

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Resilience training is a new way to optimize your performance.

Paul Campbell

CEO & Co-Founder of bLife Inc, Director of Business Development at Microsoft

Lessons Learned

Don’t let a scare be the trigger to change.

Do your own A/B test to see if a daily practice improves your performance.

For a startup, the natural ability is the team.


Lesson: Stress Resilience with Paul Campbell

Step #9 Performance: Resilience training is a new way to optimize your performance

I guess the first piece of advice would be don't let a big scare, whatever it is, be the trigger. It could be a health scare, it could be a relationship that you're neglecting. Any number of things could be the trigger where you realize that there is an impact.

I think the other piece is just an education and a knowledge piece, which is there are better ways. If we think about how computing has evolved, there are new ways, new frameworks that have made it much more efficient to build products. So no, we don't have to go all the way back to working at the core level. There are these frameworks that sit on top that hide that, and these are new advances in technologies. This is just that — it’s a new way to optimize our performance.

So, while you may think that you're losing something, you are in fact, there is always a leak. You have to trust before you get your own empirical personal evidence that this thing is working, and there are some trial and error that you have to do to find out what's going to work for you. Companies like bLife are trying to reduce that trial and error so you can figure out exactly what works for you based on answering questions and engaging and you getting the data yourself.

But I would say that understanding that there is a better way, trusting that there is a better way, and then do your own AB tests. Try it. Right? Get enough period of time where you can really see the difference, and sort of commit to some small steps that would address a need.

Because when you talk honestly, entrepreneur to entrepreneur, we all say it's lonely, the highs are really high and the lows are really low. The pressure to perform, and this is where, really, the sports and performance analogies really fit, because it's the same thing, right? We want to win the game, and win is shipping the product. The win is revenue. The win is the next milestone for financing. The win is going public.

There is always something that's out there, and just like athletes are figuring out there's a better way to train to win, to take those natural abilities that we have and for us the natural abilities are the team. That's it. So how do we get that team together and this is going to optimize performance as opposed to take away performance.

But it takes trust and faith, and it starts with leadership, and I'm making a distinction between leading and managing. Particularly if you have knowledge, a team of knowledge workers, and you're a technology based startup, what's most important is leading because they’re domain experts, right? You're bringing people who know things you don't know and the role that I have in the company is to lead. In this area it's important to lead by example, to lead by behaviors.

That can be as obvious as starting a meeting, as Dave was talking about, with a group meditation. Because you’ve got to know your environment, right? Or it can be some things, for example, Arianna Huffington, at the Huffington Post, instituted a no-work emails after 6:00 p.m. Of course there are exceptions, but the expectation is not there that you will respond after 6:00 p.m. So by her saying it, she's giving permission to the organization.

So there are a lot of companies now that are starting to do this. General Mills and Fortune 500 companies are now instituting group yoga sessions, meditation sessions, and quiet rooms, and offering tools like bLife to their employees.

So just being able to support that through the leadership if somebody wanted to use a tool and I subsidize it. Right? Yes, and to the extent that then based on where you are within your finances of the company. But most important is the behaviors, because if you're not walking it, then everybody is just going to say that you don't really mean it, it's just a fad. So I think it really starts with leading by example and by behavior.

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