David Labouchere: How to Lead a Balanced Life as a High Performer

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David Labouchere is the founder of Optimal Fitness, a boutique gym in Dubai Studio City. David is a 32 year veteran of the British Army and has gained a wealth of experience from his military career and time as a gym owner. Today he shares with us some great insight into leadership, improving your health and fitness, how to lead a balanced life as a high performer.


There are five powers of leadership:

  • Positional Power (your position, rank or title)
  • Coercive Power (punishment)
  • Reward Power (e.g. money)
  • Expert Power (e.g. education)
  • Reference Power
    • Reference power refers to what you do, what you say, and your reputation. Of all the powers, reference power is by far the most effective. If you have reference power, you don’t need the other four powers.

      “It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO or the janitor - you can lead.”

      Fitness Tips for Busy Performers

      There is too much hunching and sitting in modern life. Both are extremely unhealthy and contribute to poor posture as well as poor body mechanics.

      Maintaining Proper Posture
      If you work in an office setting, make it a point to get up and move at least once an hour. David recommends the following primal moves:

      • Getting down into a squat, rocking from side to side
      • Stand on your hands and feet (downward dog position in yoga)
      • Stretch out and make sure you have full lateral and linear movement in your body
      • Google “Primal Moves” for more exercises
      • Remember, if it feels right to you, it’s right for you

      Exercises to Strengthen Your Core
      Primal moves will help strengthen your core, but pilates and yoga are also effective. They lead to increased spine flexibility and increased stability in both men and women.

      Achieving Balance in Your Life

      Everyone, including busy high powered executives, needs balance in their life. No one lies on their deathbed wishing they spent more time in the office, so don’t put off all the things you’ve always wanted to do until tomorrow. Tomorrow may never come.

      Managing Stress
      Stress triggers one of three primal reactions: Fight, flight, or freeze. None of these responses are helpful in a business environment, and it’s imperative that high performers learn how to manage their stress. Stress management starts with training your brain to maintain access to the parts of your brain that make the best decisions when faced with adversity.

      The fitter you are, the more likely you will be able to do this. If you are physically healthy, then you are much less likely to have stress issues.

      Setting Goals
      Setting goals contributes to clarity and life balance. Once you decide on a goal, make it publically known and avoid anything that doesn’t help you achieve it. Make sure to set a goal that is realistic, but also pushes you.

      Diet Tips
      The best way to start to get a handle on your diet is to reduce your sugar intake. Don’t buy anything with added sugars and avoid low fat foods - they are often processed with extra sugar. Once you’ve cut out sugar from your diet, you’ll start to feel a big difference in your energy and performance levels.

      Principles of the British Army:

      Selection and Maintenance of the Aim
      A single, unambiguous aim is the keystone of successful military operations. Selection and maintenance of the aim is regarded as the master principle of war. Selections and maintenance of your aim (put your goals in front of you and make it sufficiently stretched).

      Maintenance of Morale
      Morale is a positive state of mind derived from inspired political and military leadership, a shared sense of purpose and values, well-being, perceptions of worth and group cohesion.

      Offensive Action
      Offensive action is the practical way in which a commander seeks to gain advantage, sustain momentum and seize the initiative.

      Security is the provision and maintenance of an operating environment that affords the necessary freedom of action, when and where required, to achieve objectives.

      Surprise is the consequence of shock and confusion induced by the deliberate or incidental introduction of the unexpected.

      Concentration of Force
      Concentration of force involves the decisive, synchronized application of superior fighting power (conceptual, physical, and moral) to realize intended effects, when and where required.

      Economy of Effort
      Economy of effort is the judicious exploitation of manpower, materiel and time in relation to the achievement of objectives.

      Flexibility – the ability to change readily to meet new circumstances – comprises agility, responsiveness, resilience, acuity and adaptability.

      Cooperation entails the incorporation of teamwork and a sharing of dangers, burdens, risks and opportunities in every aspect of warfare.

      To sustain a force is to generate the means by which its fighting power and freedom of action are maintained.
      The way I get results with my executives is to make healthy decisions.
      The number one step is to remove sugar.
      The moment that you get your foot on the rung of health, they typically want more. The one take away is to cut out processed sugar and low fat products.

      Make sure to check out…

      Optimal Fitness

      David’s Twitter

      David’s Instagram

      Affiliate Disclosure

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