February 16, 2007
Some of your biggest business breakthroughs happen when you are in the shower. I've experienced this and I know you have too. Just a few moments ago, I had a big breakthrough in the shower today. A little solution to a little problem related to a HUGE project in my life. Why? It's chemicals.
When you shower, your body produces chemicals such as DHEA, a powerful enzyme that boosts your ability to leverage your brain's capacity. I've visited a tech R&D lab that had showers as part of the bathrooms just because of this phenom.
If you work at home like I do (where your best friend at work is the UPS guy), then this is pretty easy. Take your shower at a time when you have loaded up your head with today's problems to solve. We get dozens of those a day. If you shower first thing, do your daily do list and circle the ones that require problem and solution thinking. When you are in the shower, say the headlines. Hear the soft echo. Don't say or think anything for a minute or so. This exercise is a great way to get your brain to start making connections, leveraging and utilizing this natural chemical reaction to boost your innovative powers.
By the way, I studied this concept when I was writing The Likeability Factor. When I interviewed Heartmath, I realized that the mood state at work in general was linked to performance and smart thinking. When the boss makes you feel bad, you have a cortisol boost and lose brain leverage capacity. When the environment inspires you, you produce DHEA (just like as in a shower) and you gain access to more of your brainpower.
So again, I challenge you to either take a shower for yourself or be the hot shower of good feelings for your people. If you contribute to an unlikeable environment, you'll never produce good business. Dr. Daniel Goleman was right in his leadership must-read Primal Leadership: Good leaders own the mood state and make it good.
Read this excerpt from The Likeability Factor that discusses this concept.