The instrument of leadership is the self, and mastery of the art of leadership comes from mastery of the self…becoming the best leader is becoming the best self you can be”
– Barry Posner and James Kouzes – The Leadership Challenge

When I think about what it means to be inner fit, I can’t help but think about this fearless lady.
When I read Jacqueline Wales’ recent post about how she has transformed her body and her professional life using six key essential elements for creating real change, I had to stop and really think about my own leadership skills, and what changes I needed to make towards being fit in all areas of my own life.

Although I feel like I have done a pretty good job in managing stress and finding that work life balance, and feeling passionate about my purpose in life, there was still something I was out of balance on and that was my physical fitness.

I have always been one to exercise a few times a week and practice yoga on some regular basis, but over the past year, I found myself drifting away from my physical fitness routine….until, I read Jacqueline’s inspiring story and her “kick-ass “, yet, divine feminine approach towards performing at our best in whatever we choose to do in life.

I was both inspired by her personal fitness story as well as her creative leadership programs that she has developed and teaches…if you want to perform at a higher level and create your best self from the inside out, check out

Jacqueline Wales

Jacqueline Wales, is founder of Innerfluence, a transformational leadership coach, and certified facilitator for Human Synergistics programs bringing 21st century leadership skills to enterprises across the country. As a leading expert on transformation change, she has worked with hundreds of executives and entrepreneurs to improve performance and accelerate change in their organization.  Jacqueline’s global experience breaking through barriers and unleashing human potential to exalt, instruct and inspire have benefited people in organizations worldwide include the Oracle, Wilbur Ellis, FBI, American Airlines, Standard & Poor’s, Maxim Integrated, Brocade, Samsung, Intel and more

Jacqueline is also the author of When The Crow Sings, a novel, and The Fearless Factor. She holds a black belt in karate and a red belt in Tae Kwon Do, and is currently a keen Crossfit enthusiast who believes in living up to her potential. She can be contacted at or visit her website

Six Essentials I Learned at Crossfit for Building Strong Leadership

         by Jacqueline Wales

It was time for me to make a commitment to getting myself back into the best shape possible, and I was not going to back down. Several years ago, I had regrettably ended my martial arts training after relocating, in which I had earned a black belt in Shotokan karate, and a red belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Over the next years nothing had really motivated me to the same extent: certainly not yoga or Pilates, although I enjoyed the classes. I was now ready for something that would take me back to the same level of physical training. At 65, I wondered if I would be up to the challenge.

Browsing the internet for potential places, I came across Crossfit Cypher. It was local, and I signed up for an introductory course. I had no idea what Crossfit was, or what I was about to get myself into!

My coach, Mauricio Leal, took me in hand, and started to put me through some strength, mobility and cardio exercises. I instantly realized that my stamina was in need of work as I huffed and puffed on the bike and rower. I also had to do squats and found that getting any depth to them was hard, and don’t even get me started on the overhead stuff. My range of motion was sadly lacking!

After two weeks with three times a week coaching, I started to see a real difference. Though, my breath was still erratic, I could now stretch further, and my squats were getting deeper. I was also lifting weights that could be considered heavy. I left my workout sweaty and aglow. I was hooked!

Now, nine months later, I attend classes 5 x a week. I deadlift 205lbs, do assisted pull ups on the bar, and even manage to do quite a few of the dreaded burpees, an energetic drop to the ground and jump to standing routine, as well as hold my own in a plank for 2 minutes. I participated in the Crossfit Open games in April, and found myself 19 out of 45 in Northern California in my age group, and 171 out of 703 globally!

In short, cross-fit training has transformed me!

When I was engaged in martial arts I recognized six elements that are now applied to my Crossfit training that completely transform the way you approach life and business.

These six elements are:
Commitment, Focus, Discipline, Follow-Through, Consistency and Perseverance.

Think about that for a moment? Where do you apply these in your business, or your career?

  • Are you fully committed? Is there any procrastination going on, or are you disengaged? How do you stay motivated? Are you committed to success?
  • Do you focus on the things that matter most? Can you see the whole picture, or just a small part? Are you even looking in the right place?
  • Are you disciplined each day to show up and do what you have to do even when you don’t want to do it?  Have you formed habits that are positive and uplifting?
  • How about your follow-through? Are there unfinished projects? People you need to connect with, or people who have fallen through the cracks of your unorganized or overly busy life?
  • Are you consistent most of the time. Let’s face it, most of us could use help in this area. What habits keep you on track? Where do you show up inconsistently at work, in your relationships, in your plan for the future?
  • And lastly, there is perseverance. What happens when you fail? What do you do to get back on track? How do you manage your expectations? What keeps you going?

All of these attributes are essential to staying the course, and becoming a leader who inspires and motivates your followers.

As a leader, I try to live by a code of doing what I say I will do, and being who I want to be, so that I can be the best support for my clients. This means not allowing situations or circumstances to derail me, and giving it my best shot no matter what comes up.

As an athlete, I have the same drive. I’m committed to being the best version of me. I can’t compare myself to a twenty-something who can finish a hard routine in half the time it takes me, but I can choose to pursue my goals and be a great example of what’s possible at any age. I am a role model for them because I am an example of fitness at any age.

I’m aging backwards!  I’m stronger today than I’ve been in years. I’ve dropped a few pounds, gained a lot of muscle, and have set a goal that I will be as fit as I was when I was 50 when I turn 66 later this year.

The first step to being a great leader is to be a role model for others to follow. This means being the best version of you that you can be; being fully committed to your role as a leader.

Are you focused on the right priorities, and can you stay positive while filtering out the noise of negativity?

Are you disciplined to do the things you say you will do and follow-through on your commitments by being available to your team.

Are you working on being a great leader in your organization?

Do you have the courage to take on the things that seem impossible, and find that in time, with commitment, focus, discipline, follow-through, and consistency you get the results you want?

Above all, do you have the strength and perseverance to overcome any challenge?

Your answers to these questions will have a powerful impact on your future, and make you a great leader that will be remembered for a long time to come.

Jacqueline Wales


We would love any feedback about this new network and invite you to comment on any suggestions for future inner fitness topics to share.

Peace, love and JOY

WHAT DOES INNER FITNESS MEAN TO YOU? Let me know down in the comments!