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The Power of One Minute

How 60-seconds can transform your work

When I attended the Culturati Summit in April, strategy had been on my mind. In the last year-plus, I’ve been focused on growing The Creative Executive. The most obvious strategic question is the business one: how do we reach, employ, and serve new audiences? But, perhaps more important is the people question: how do we manage our wellness—our selves—throughout the process of evolving as a business of societal contributors, professionals, and humans? 

The Power of One Minute: How 60-seconds can transform your work

Regarding societal wellness, DEI should be imperative and part of the holistic strategy behind your business. The way Caroline Wanga, CEO of Essence Communications, talked about this during the conference made my heart melt! She says that healthy companies don’t have a separate DEI approach; they integrate this philosophy across the business from talent and professional development to the products and services they sell. 

There’s a lot at stake, especially as we all juggle our personal and professional lives in this modern world.   

This is why one of my biggest takeaways was the power of “microsteps”, 1-3 minute daily self-care activities that create a high-yield positive impact over time. Research-based and effective, these simple practices make wellness, resilience, and thriving closer with each minute. Here are some of the best ideas from the conference for you and your team.

Practices for You

As stress levels are growing, helping yourself and others create doable self-care opportunities throughout the day has been shown to positively impact resilience through increased health, mindfulness, happiness, and relaxation.

Arianna Huffington recommends spending 60-seconds to three minutes each day on ONE self-care activity. Then repeat for 32 days. 

Microsteps are ritual 1-3 minute daily self-care activities that create a high-yield positive impact over time.

Why is this so successful?  “Micro-steps … are too hard to fail.” 

My favorite self-care activities mentioned during her talk:

  • Gratitude practice (while washing your hands!)
  • Deep belly breathing for 1-3 minutes/three times a day
  • Daily 1-minute remembrance of a time when you were engaged and resilient in your work 

Just because these are focused on you as individuals, they have ramifications for your team and your organization. Learn more about Walmart’s + Salesforce’s successes here.

Opportunities for Your Team

Maria Yap, Adobe’s VP of Digital Imaging, shared some tools she has leveraged within her group. These short activities help create a more relational atmosphere and enable her to get to know her people differently.    

She uses “table topics”:

  • A fun, provocative (work appropriate!) question. Think “Would you Rather” for adults. (e.g., Would you rather shave your head or lose all your nails?  Would you rather live in a cave or a yurt?)
  • A universal non-work prompt:  What was your favorite game as a kid? What was your favorite dessert growing up?

Or try one of these storytelling prompts from our Executive Communications Director, Elizabeth Goins, to go a little deeper:

  • A meaningful family tradition and how it came to be
  • Your first summer job and what you learned
  • An experience that illustrates what it was like growing up in your hometown

We are all looking forward to more connection with others, even the introverts among us. May these bring you the little moments that help bring back some humanity to the workplace and our personal lives.


Whole-Life Leadership for a New World: A New Leadership Mindset for Today and the Future

Storytelling Can Drive a Culture of Wellness: Shaping Culture and Mental Health in Your Organization