Tag Archives: triathlon

Leader: how to feel

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You cannot find motivation around you; you cannot buy it on a supermarket nor in internet nor at the fair.

A leader, even a good one, cannot motivate you, if you aren’t interested in your job, if you are not fallen in love with your tasks. But for sure, a bad leader can destroy the emotional climate inside a team and jeopardize the goals.

Pietro Trabucchi (Persistency Is Human) is a psychologist who has worked with olimpic teams in 2006 and with the national Thriathlon teams. He is an expert on sport rsistance, a runner and an ultra athlet himself. Motivation (in sport, business or family) is one of the topics he has studied and experienced.

In his opinion, the team leader has 4 basic points to work on:

  • relationships among the team people
  • let people feel competent
  • give autonomy
  • pay attention to communication

First task: work on emotional climate! If just one person doesen’t integrate well or experiences bad feelings, the self-motivation of the other members can collapse. This can be rather riskful if the team is trying to get the Everest top while the snow storm is raging and you ran out of food and water, you know?! But this can also be the reason why some groups do not go high.

Daniel Goleman, in this short collection of articles (What Makes a Leader: Why Emotional Intelligente Matters) has something more to add about leadership. He focuses on leaders’ emotions and attitude.

A cruel or irritating leader builds an ill organisation. The aim of his subordinates to avoid the leader’s screams and all their efforts go wasted into emotional self-defense. Leader’s mood is contagious! Dont’ forget this. Fearful subordinates can get results in the short tems, but this usually doesn’t happen in the long run.

So far,  Goleman; but I really wonder if he ever visited an italian company.

More than ten years ago I worked for a other company. Each time that I walked around the boss’ office, I prayed that he was not in. And if I knew that he was in, I prayed that his door was closed. And if door was not closed, I prayed that he was looking elsewhere (well, I prayed alot in that period…). If I was not so lucky, if he was in the office, if the door was open and if he was looking in my direction, I just had to walk near his office to get a vigorous curse.

Why? Bad mood. He did the same with all his staff, with very few exceptions (mainly his family members). But the worst thing is that all the hierarchy had the same mood. And I was one of the last chain rings, you can imagine:-(

Well, Mr. Goleman, I am not sure what you mean when you say that such organizations have no success on the long run. My former employer is on the market since the Sixties. Yes, I admit: with up and downs; yes, with an high turnover, of course. But this is normal, in Italy, above all in the North East of Italy. Maybe such companies are not 100% efficient, because subordinates hide instead of being rich of new ideas and enthusiasm. But believe me, this doesn’t notch the boss’ richness. The goal is got.

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Thrive – The vegan nutrition guide to optimal peformance in sports and Life (Brendan Brazier)

Trovato solo in inglese… Brazier è un triatleta professionista che, dopo aver provato tutti i tipi di diete immaginabili allo scopo di migliorare le sue prestazioni sportive, ha scoperto l’alimentazione vegana (in gran parte crudista), e ha deciso che è la migliore.

Le nozioni di base sono sempre le stesse, ma questo libro parte con una lunga introduzione sullo stress, in particolare lo stress a cui sottoponiamo il nostro corpo quando lo costringiamo a digerire certi alimenti.

Siccome allo stesso tempo sto leggendo anche “The starch solution” del dr. McDougall (anche questo in inglese, cavoli, e per di più in E-Book, perché costava molto meno del cartaceo: editoria italiana, possiamo svegliarci per favore?), mi ha colpito la piramide alimentare di Brazier.
Entrambi sono per un’alimentazione vegana, ma mentre il dott. McDougall mette alla base della piramide i cibi a base di amido (cereali, patate, vegetali amidacei ecc…), brazier ci mette i vegetali (“fibrous” li chiama: ma i vegetali non contengono tutti fibre?), lasciando i carboidrati amidacei alla punta della piramide, cioè come alimenti da consumare ogni tanto.
Invece, Brazier è un fan scatenato degli pseudocereali (amaranto e quinoa in primis, che comunque sono amidacei, sbaglio?), e ammette gli oli aggiunti, se pressati a freddo e di un certo tipo, cosa che McDougall preferisce sconsigliare.

Brazier ha una posizione più vicina a quella del dottor Fuhrman e alla sua dieta nutritariana, con qualche eccezione.

Tutte queste differenze tra diete a base vegana mi convincono sempre di più che dell’alimentazione ne sappiamo davvero poco. Tutti questi professionisti hanno ottenuto dei risultati (dimagrimento, protezione da certe malattie, miglior umore, rallentamento dell’invecchiamento…), ma sono solo i dettagli a cambiare. Non possiamo dire “elimina i grassi” oppure “non mangiare patate” se queste affermazioni sono scollegate dallo schema generale dell’alimentazione e dello stile di vita di una persona.

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