This essay appears in today’s edition of the Fortune Brainstorm Health Daily. Get it delivered straight to your inbox.
I’ve spent this morning and yesterday at the Lake Nona Impact Forum in Orlando—listening and taking part in some really thoughtful conversations about how to transform our American “sick care” system into one focused on health preservation.
And maybe I’m playing favorites—well, sure I’m playing favorites—but I was especially partial to the conversation I had with Sandi Peterson, Johnson & Johnson’s Group Worldwide Chairman. (J&J is the lead sponsor of the forum, which is now in its fifth year.)
Peterson, one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business, oversees the company’s litany of iconic consumer businesses (everything from Band-Aid to Listerine to Tylenol), which together pull in some $20 billion in annual sales—and, as if that isn’t enough, she’s also responsible for J&J’s global operating infrastructure (supply chain, IT, quality control), plus several new enterprise initiatives (insert dizzying list here), and yeah, I’m forgetting stuff too.
I mention these résumé line items because, well, Sandi—and this is true every time I’ve seen her—looks both preternaturally relaxed and yet seemingly ready at a moment’s notice to run the 400-meter dash. Others have noticed this, too. In the feature story my colleague Erika Fry wrote about J&J in July, she said of Peterson: “you get the sense, within seconds of meeting her, that she gets shit done.”
What you might ask is the secret to this exec’s focus and equilibrium? Here, dear Daily readers, are three components:
1. Exercise. Peterson is a near-daily gym-goer—though she has lately been singing the praises of exercise “microbouts.” The idea is that if you interrupt your hours of deskbound sedation with occasional bursts of physical activity—even five minutes every hour—you can get a surprising share of the benefits you’d have gotten if you visited the gym everyday. (J&J has been funding research studies in this, I should point out.)
2. Balance. She needs—and typically makes sure she gets—seven hours of sleep a night. She shuts off her phone on Saturdays: “If someone really needs to reach me, they will,” Peterson says. And my favorite line: “People take vacations in Europe—they take those vacations very seriously. And y’know what? The world goes on.”
And 3. She doesn’t try to do it all herself. “Honestly, my secret is I pick really, really good people around me,” she says. “I don’t need to spend hours in meetings because I can have a two-minute conversation with a colleague who is pretty damn smart and who knows how to get the job done. And, if he needs my help on something, he’ll let me know.”
Some Friday food for thought, eh? Enjoy the weekend.