Sustainable high performance is fueled by healthy habits — you can’t have one without the other. With burnout and fatigue still rampant in the workplace, Dr. Greg Wells equips leaders and their teams with practical, science-based strategies that prioritize health and well-being in order to sustain healthy high performance.
A physiologist, Greg has dedicated his career to studying the science of human limits. He has worked with some of the most elite athletes, including Olympians and world champions, and has published five bestselling books within the realm of health and performance.
Every time Greg speaks, audiences walk away inspired and empowered to take control of their mind-body health to reach their full potential. From combating burnout and overwhelm to taking a holistic approach to performance, Greg helps people become true “powerhouses” both at home and work.
Enjoy this Q&A with Greg as he dives deep into the healthy habits we can adopt to optimize our well-being.
Holistic High Performance
Speakers Spotlight: Why is it important to include brain health in a holistic approach to high performance?
Dr. Greg Wells: There was this amazing moment at the Olympics many years ago with a diver named Alexandre Despatie. Right before the Olympics, he was practicing and he crashed — hit his head on the board, split his forehead open, needed stitches, got a concussion. Just one month later he was at the Olympic games where he had to do the exact same dive.
Watching him get ready for that dive was incredible. I was fortunate enough to be there and it was awesome watching him relax his body, centre his mind, and smile to calm his emotions down so he could execute the dive. We often think of health or performance as only physical, or only mental, or only emotional when in fact it’s all the same thing.
The brain is a physical structure, emotions are chemical, thoughts are electricity, all of that flows through your body when you’re moving, thinking, performing, doing whatever it is you care about the most. So, it’s only when we approach health and wellness holistically — mind, body, emotion, and spirit — that’s when our true human potential is actually unlocked.
Greg speaks to this further in the video below, plus outlines his whole body approach to healthy high performance in his keynote “Powerhouse: Healthy High Performance in a World of Uncertainty and Burnout”.
Combating Burnout and Building Healthy Workplaces
SpSp: How can leaders address team burnout?
GW: When it comes to stress, overwhelm, and burnout in the workplace, if leaders themselves are stressed, overwhelmed, and burned out, their people will match that level of fatigue. On the flipside, if leaders take care of themselves, if they prioritize their health as a means to be successful, their people will match that as well.
Health leads to our success, not the other way around. And leaders need to practice that more than anybody right now in this very difficult environment.
Greg explores the physiological effects of burnout and how to best heal from it in his keynote “Overcoming Overwhelm and Burnout”. He shares ten science-based strategies to help people rest, recover, and recharge.
Watch Greg speak further on the impact of burnout on performance and how leaders can counteract those effects in the video below:
SpSp: What’s the risk in deprioritizing health at work?
GW: People tend to forget that health actually gives us the opportunity to reach our potential. We often sacrifice it to get the promotion, get the job, close the deal, etc., but that actually leads us to being unable to perform sustainably.
There’s a new path forward. I believe it’s through twin cycles of performance and rest that makes long-term success actually achievable, actually something you can maintain for years.
This is something we learned in sports many years ago. If you have a hard training session, afterwards you sleep, you have great food, get a massage, do stretching, engage in mindfulness, it’s this that enables you to train physically at a world-class level for years. That’s the approach that needs to be adopted in business. So, if you have a stressful day, it’s no big deal, it happens, but we’re meditating, we’re journaling, we’re spending time with family, we’re getting a great night’s sleep, we’re giving ourselves permission to recover and regenerate so that we can then get back in the game the next day and perform at the highest possible level.
Greg dives further into how leaders can build healthy workplaces in the video below:
Have a Healthy Holiday Season
SpSp: How can we prioritize our health heading into the holiday season?
GW: Holidays can be a really, really stressful times of the year for many different reasons — parties, families, kids, events, etc., which can fun, but it can also be very draining and difficult.
I would encourage people to think about times during the holidays when, perhaps they aren’t working, they can reallocate that time to going for a walk every day, calling people who elevate them and make them happy, taking some time to eat healthy food with family and friends. It’s all about creating that balance. When we have balance in our lives, all of sudden it’s possible to make progress, to manage tension and stress, while at the same time have fun and connect with people.
Learn how to have a happy and healthy holiday season this year in the video below:
The Future of Health and Wellness
SpSp: How do you see the wellness realm evolving?
GW: I think the future is one where we prioritize human performance. We work diligently at finding ways to enable people to reach their potential, whether that’s at school or work. Finding what fires people up, where’s the passion, where’s the meaning, where’s the interest, where’s the skill, where and what are those innate abilities and passion points for people, and then supporting them to develop in those areas so they can have the greatest possible impact on whatever it is they care about most.
That’s where I want to go in the next decade of my career. It’s hard because the world is a very difficult, challenging place right now and there are barriers to being healthy, to experience wellness, and to do what we love to do at the highest levels. And those challenges are global and their significant. But I believe that when we enable humans to reach their potential that’s when we’ll solve many of those problems as well.
If we can approach human potential through health and wellness, through well-being, through passion, through purpose, through meaning, we can unlock the possibility of a much better future.
Watch the video below to hear Greg’s thoughts on what the future of health and wellness looks like: