Stronger Through Adversity | Put Your Mask On First

Thank you for joining me for this series titled “Stronger Through Adversity.” This series highlights key takeaways from my upcoming book of the same nameThat book is based on conversations and work with more than 140 global leaders. This installment is titled “Put Your Mask On First.”

Leading through the pandemic has been an adventure. According to the CEOs and board members with whom I interacted, that adventure often meant self-sacrifice. Many leaders were working 16, 18, and 20 hours a day. I will be honest I was in that 20 hours a day camp myself.

There were so many crises, so much firefighting, so much pivoting, so many video calls. I talked to leaders who literally were dreaming about Zoom meetings. Amid the swirl of the crisis, I also heard from leaders who fought to maintain self-care. They fought against fears that they needed to prove they were essential. They fought against feelings that they needed to perform at heroic levels. They fought to challenge beliefs that self-care was selfish, and they fought to understand that they needed to train for a marathon and not a sprint.

In Stronger Through Adversity, leaders share how they maintain balance, self-talk, exercise, deep breathing, and movement. Leaders link improved performance to self-care rituals, where (as in the instructions of flight attendants) they put their self-care masks on first so they could assist others.

What are your self-care rituals? How diligently have you been putting your self-care mask on first? How do you remind yourself to pause, breathe, and move? Are you tired, foggy, or burning out?

I would love to listen to your self-care successes and challenges. Similarly, we can have a conversation about how you are helping your team members care for themselves.

Please reach out to me here and we’ll find a time for those conversations.

If you would like to learn more about Stronger Through Adversity and get your special pre-order offer head to

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Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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