About two years ago one of the young talented executives, who Ronelle coached a few years before (and we will call him Steve to protect his identity) re-connected with her. He was in his early forties and already one of the top earners of a Fortune 500 company. Part of their coaching contract was to determine if he wanted to stay focused in his field of specialization where he was a top global performer or rather wanted to move into succession planning as a possible next CEO. Though it is always pleasant to catch up with former executive clients, this connection was more painful for Ronelle.
Steve was reaching out from his hospital bed after brain surgery as a result of a poor interaction with a pharmaceutical drug to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Steve needed Ronelle to provide some information to help in his rehab. She did provide the information and yes, Steve made full recovery due to his youth and otherwise healthy routine. But for Ronelle this was a pivotal moment in her professional career, knowing that she needed to pay more careful attention to integrative health and wellness of her client during executive coaching. She also realized she needed to find the right tools to do so. Since then she was focusing on research and learned that it is estimated that more than 80% of all doctor’s office visits are stress-related. Stress is costing the American industry more than $300 billion annually.
She was working toward proposing an integrated health care prevention model with tools and skills training. The goal was to better understand and help patients/clients/executives to take more ownership of their individual health care. During January 2014, about the same time when Ronelle learned that Mayo Clinic has an integrative health program, a friend from Minneapolis connected about a book that he exclaimed: “It changed my life!” Ronelle looked up the information about the book and studied the index to gasp: “Somebody has already done this before me!” That brought her to the next conclusion: “I am off the hook!” Someone already did all the research and clinical trials to validate this program. Her next step was to taking on the role of a student again when she registered to take the TRANSFORM training program with Dr. Amit Sood, Professor of Medicine from Mayo Clinic for most of 2014. At the end of the program she was pleased about the invitation from Dr. Sood to join a partnership with the Global Center for Resiliency and Wellbeing and Mayo Clinic: to bring some of the cutting-edge information in her field to people in our community and business companies that she is working. It has always been her passion to help people lead generally healthier, happier, more relaxing, fulfilling and resilient lives. Now we also have access to real-life tools to pick from when life gets tough. This is the story of how the Cedar Valley Center for Resiliency and Wellbeing started.
We want to invite you to become part of this as we build a healthier, more resilient and joyful community based on five tried and trusted principles.
We are grateful for everyone who has already volunteered their precious time over the past few months to help the Cedar Valley Center grow: Jon, Lindi, Emina, Chloe, Justin, Sara, Liz, Emily, Matt, Jordan as part of Google Start-up Weekend, UNI Venture School or the UNI MIS student project team. Thank you to UNI College of Business Administration, Jim and Cecelia Mudd, UNI Faculty Senate, UNI Center for Creativity, Cedar Falls Friends of the Library, Hilton Garden Inn and Barmuda Corporation who all sponsored the launching of the Cedar Valley Center for Resiliency and Wellbeing on November 14 when Dr. Amit Sood visited us to introduce the Stress Management And Resiliency Training (SMART) program for the first time in our community.
Sood, Amit (2013). The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living. Da Capo Lifelong Books.
Sood explains that the more intentional are your thoughts, the more positive is your thinking. This helps in being more engaged in the daily activities and keeps the stressors away. Sood also shows people how to interpret the events in their lives through the five principles of gratitude, compassion, acceptance, meaning and forgiveness. As per Sood, these principles” can help you peel off layers of stress and suffering from almost any challenge and enhance your attention by freeing you from the mind’s wanderings.”
Ronelle Langley, M.Science, Ph.D. (Psych), MBA. Dr. Ronelle Langley is affiliated with UNI and teaches Organizational Management at the College of Business Administration. Ronelle has been an executive coach for global and Fortune 500 companies since she founded Executive Coaching International in 2003 with business partners from the United States, Europe and South Africa. She is also a local practicing psychologist with Wheaton Franciscan Health Care and enjoys the variety of working with patients ranging from young children to senior citizens, because feels there is always something special to learn from anyone, no matter their age.