May 16, 2014 – Grounded Leader of the Week – Virginia Rometty

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Ginni Rometty

Key Lesson: Leadership is a hard job, potentially hazardous to your health. Manage your energy wisely.

IBM is one of the world’s most powerful and most experienced technology vendors — and has managed to stay a top player in the turbulent tech world for decades. This week’s Grounded Leader is credited with spearheading IBM’s growth strategy into the cloud computing and analytics businesses.

CEO Virginia (Ginni) Rometty is leading this 102-year-old company into the future as if she is running a marathon. Leading a big enterprise requires a balancing act of addressing immediate needs while initiating long-range objectives, taking care to be sure the future is not short-changed. She manages for the long haul.

Running a company like IBM is all about energy management. Rometty’s energy, that is. Seeing her job as a marathon, Rometty starts her day early in the gym with an hour of aerobics and weight training. She makes time for exercise, seeing it as the way to stay nimble and focused. Rometty understands the role energy management plays in keeping her a healthy, grounded leader.

Like all of us, hard-charging leaders need time for renewal. Rejuvenation alters our brain patterns so our minds, hearts and bodies can refresh and reinvigorate themselves. Without this renewal, you are unable to bolster your immune system, readjust your routines, maintain your productive energy, or adapt to life’s changing conditions. Healthy, grounded leaders know what depletes their positive energy and what replenishes it. And they take the actions necessary to keep their store of energy evenly distributed and readily available.

This week our Grounded Leader is Virginia Rometty for her ability to balance her work and her life, and for being comfortable with the yin-yang of the demands her leadership role brings. By calibrating an energy management system that maximizes her positive energy, she is able to balance a sense of urgency to move things forward while keeping the long view clear and focused.



About the Author

Bob Rosen, Ph.D.

Bob Rosen, Ph.D.

Bob Rosen is founder and CEO of Healthy Companies and author of 8 best-selling leadership books, including Grounded: How Leaders Stay Rooted in an Uncertain World, a New York Times bestseller, and Conscious: The Power of Awareness in Business and Life, a Washington Post bestseller. At Healthy Companies, we help develop leaders at all levels to improve their health, well-being, potential and performance.


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