Promote Wellness with Matt Lund

EZ 30 | Promote Wellness


Well-being in the workplace is a topic that, believe it or not twenty, 30 years ago almost didn’t exist. We lived in the idea that you just go along and do what you do until you get sick, and then you take medication. That’s how you get better. Once you’re better, you go back to work. Your well-being is actually your responsibility and there are things that you can do. In this episode, I’ll be discussing workplace wellness with national expert, Matt Lund. Matt is the executive director for the National Wellness Institute which is the world’s oldest nonprofit 501c3 wellness organization that provides services to people around the world. Learn how to promote a culture of wellness in your business, what the benefits are to prioritizing this, and ways that other progressive companies have adopted a wellness model with positive results.

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Promote Wellness with Matt Lund

We’ll be talking about creating a culture of well-being in your business. This is an area that I’ve got a special affinity for. Our topic is well-being in the workplace. This is a topic that believe it or not twenty, 30 years ago almost didn’t exist. I was a chiropractor for many years. I had the biggest chiropractic in sports medicine practice in the State of Vermont from 1982 until 1996. I’ve got to tell you and this is absolutely true that when we started practice in 1982, the party line medical stance on anything having to do with prevention was that it was essentially suspect, maybe even a scam. That for any doctor or for any physician or for any healthcare practitioner to suggest that one could be healthier by virtue of doing certain things to make themselves healthier, to stay healthier, that wasn’t the model that we lived on. We lived in the idea that you just go along and do what you do until you get sick and then you take medication. That’s how you get better. Once you are better, you’re better and then you go back to work. We, in the holistic healthcare world, have been saying for many years that your well-being is your responsibility. There are absolutely things that you can do.

We used to do a healthcare class every week. We’d invite our patients and their patients’ friends. We would sometimes go out to health clubs and we talk about positive mental attitude, about exercise, about nutrition, about drinking water, about structural integrity in your body and the various things that contribute to being healthy. What’s happened is you realize that over the years, business has had narrower and narrower margins. People have tried to be more profitable. There have been a lot of difficulties in the corporate world that have required creative problem-solving. Thankfully, one of the ways that creative problem solving happens is that people in leadership positions have begun to recognize that there’s something important about keeping their employees healthy. Not just responding and reacting to the injuries and illness, but rather doing things that create a wellness culture. That helped to promote a psychological framework for well-being so that people are more inclined to do the right thing on a day-to-day basis. This is something for which information has been seeping into the workforce.

There are some companies that have embraced it and have embraced it in a big way. There are others that are lagging behind that feel like it’s still a waste. Maybe it’s way more important to just get down to that bottom line and do the work and not worry about all that stuff. To me that’s shortsighted. Along the way throughout this entire journey uphill to a well-being model, the National Wellness Institute has been leading the way. It has been helping to disseminate information to support companies in creating a workplace culture of well-being. My guest is the Executive Director of that organization. I’m so excited about bringing him on. He’ll have plenty to tell us and explain to us about how this has evolved. What he’s seeing out there in the work world. What are some of the more successful companies doing that’s worked for diminishing absenteeism and turnover and whatnot? What are some of the other benefits that we’re seeing out there in the world? What can you do to have a more wellness-based culture in your company?

I’m going to introduce my guest, his name is Matt Lund. He is the Executive Director of the National Wellness Institute, which is the world’s oldest nonprofit 501(c)(3) wellness organization that provides services to people around the world. Matt himself has been doing this for some time now because he loves building health and wellness cultures and high-performance teams. Positioning organizations to be inclusive, diverse and innovative so that they can thrive and flourish. Individuals can flourish in their lives and so the company itself can flourish. He shared his philosophy with me before we came on board. He said if we make wellness about people, people will become happier and healthier. This is not the case. Just being able to do it at the individual level and how that influences the whole.

In my world of holistic health, we say that everything is a hologram. What you do at this level affects everything at this level and everything at this level affects everything at this level. That’s a great inspiring way to look at things and that’s inspiration in seeing people thrive in life. His passion is building individuals to help them reach their full potential through self-efficacy, confidence, leadership skills and strength into the communities that they serve. I’m very blessed to have him here as a guest with me.

Matt Lund, what an absolute pleasure to have you here. In your capacity as the Executive Director of this organization, I know you wear a lot of hats and you’re juggling a lot of balls. He might even do some travel in your work. Are you doing this? Are you able to do it from home?

Thank you for having me here. I truly appreciate it. Anytime I get a chance to talk about what we’re doing at the National Wellness Institute or what we’re doing just in the Wellness Community, I want to share. For me, I’m traveling all over the place. I fly all over the US visiting universities and going to different conferences, visiting different work sites, different organizations and nonprofits. We’re starting to grow more internationally as well. Probably more international travel is going to be coming up in the near future. We’re trying to have a big imprint on what we’re doing in wellness and how we can help people thrive and flourish in life. 

How long has the organization been in existence?

The National Wellness Institute has been around since 1975.

Was it started by the medical community or by the holistic health community? How did this whole thing come about?

It started at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point here in central Wisconsin. It’s the home of wellness for at least what we’re talking about now. It was some professors that had gotten together. People that were passionate about wellness. How do we look at people healing beyond doing medication or just with time, but based on looking at it from a holistic approach? It started back in 1975. It started with the first health promotion program being offered in the university. Then we started expanding from there as more people got involved with the organization. We created the first National Wellness Conference back 44 years ago. It started bringing people together to talk about this more holistic approach. What we focused on was our six-dimensional model that was created in 1976. The six dimensions were occupational, physical, social, intellectual, spiritual and emotional.

EZ 30 | Promote Wellness

Promote Wellness: If you don’t have leadership that supports a new transitional piece of positive culture, it’s just not going to work.


It’s akin to what I was saying when we first jumped onboard. We used to these healthcare classes. We always wanted to make sure that we were addressing the various elements of somebody’s well-being and you’re addressing that in a very broad way.

Very broad, which is great because we can serve more people as opposed to being narrowed into one area.

What are you seeing as the years have gone by? You’ve been at the organization yourself for a number of years.

A little over three years.

You came onboard and even in the last three years, there has been a little bit of a seismic shift in how well-received wellness is. It’s becoming more and more a topic of concern. What are the trends? What’s going on out there?

Depending on the time that you hit into it, you have the Fitbit trend. You have the diet trend. You have all these different things happening. Now that we get into more of this holistic approach that we’ve been talking about for years, everyone thinks of this holistic approach is now a trend. Where we’ve been talking about it for 40-plus years and getting more into what you were talking about earlier is the building of culture. It’s interesting because a lot of people say the word culture. They talk about culture, but what does it mean? There are so many different areas of culture. You can have a bad culture that you’re building in a work environment. The trendy things come and go, but we’re trying to stay consistent with our message, consistent on how we provide services and who we provide them to. The bottom line is everything that we do, we focus on making wellness about people. If we do that, our communities and our country are going to go from a coping piece to thriving in life.

You can tell me if this is your experience. I’ve had this conversation with people who are foisting other hopefully shifts in consciousness in work is that it has to start from leadership. It has to start from the top going down. Has that been your experience?

Typically, yes. It’s tough to say but if you want to start somewhere, yes it’s got to start with leadership. Leadership is going to push it out. Leadership is going to be a big part of it. In any company that wants to see its employees like you were talking about with the absenteeism and presenteeism, and the retention of employees. It’s got to come from the top. If you don’t have leadership that supports this new transitional piece of positive culture, it’s not going to work. You’ll have these internal battles happening within the workplace that will never be solved.

If you want to start somewhere, it's got to start from the top. It's got to start with the leadership. Click To Tweet

It seems like there’s the possibility that a company might pick up on some wellness model but if they are only giving it lip service, then it’s not playing out the way that it’s meant to play out.

A lot of companies have picked up different models and you see this five-year trend where a company will pick up and say well, “This is what we’re doing. This is something new.” Reality is it probably happened five years ago and it just disappeared because it didn’t work. What’s happened in a lot of companies is they’ve done this check the box system. They say, “All my employees fit in this box and this is what they need to do.” The ironic piece of it is a lot of employees are incentivized. They say, “If you go to your physical, you go get your blood work done. You do your Biometric Screening, you do an HRA. If you do this, then we’ll give you $125 gift certificate.” To me, I questioned it the first thing when I started three years ago as I said, “We’re doing a program that’s so positive and great for employees, but we have to incentivize them to be a part of it.” That to me doesn’t make a lot of sense.

If it’s positive and great, why do you need to pay me to do it? It’s intrinsically-motivated rather than extrinsically motivated. Something is maybe disconnected there.

When you look at these cultures and what you’re building, you can’t put employees in a check the box system. You’ve got to look at what you have in your structure. What’s in your infrastructure? What are you trying to ultimately accomplish? Where are you trying to go with your organization? Are you trying to expand and build all of it? It has to do with one another. If you look at it, it’s like a tripod where you have the leadership, you have the staff and you have this culture. If one of those pieces are off, what typically happens is it falls over. They’ve all got to be balanced. They’ve all got to be set. They’ve all got to be ready to go.

When you’re starting from scratch because I know you’ve seen it in every possible incarnation. You’ve probably seen companies that are very much steeped in the wellness culture. Other ones that are stumbling along and the ones that are clueless. They’ve never done anything like this and suddenly, you’re coming around and saying, “Your company is going to function better. Your employees are going to be happier. You’re going to be more productive if you bring wellness on board.” You take that company and what are some of the implementation tools? If it were up to you and you were able to walk into a company and take over and say, “Let’s roll up our sleeves and reset with you guys.” Talk a little bit about that. What would that look like?

If I could all talk about three different areas that a company can look to build on. One is building an employee wellness culture. Building a diverse culture and building a culture of mindfulness that you can help people thrive and flourish. If we look at just building a wellness culture with employees, you’re talking about motivation and growth in employees. You’re trying to help people motivate. The days of your paycheck is good enough for me telling you, “Thank you.” Those days are long gone. It was a Baby Boomer era. Now, we’re transitioning into Generation X, Generation Y and the Millennials. We’re talking about how do you motivate and grow the employees that are part of your organization? There are a few simple things that are part of that. It’s the leadership building relationships with staff. That’s an internal piece. Build those relationships, get to know who your people are. Is it your janitor? Your receptionist? Your part-time staff? They are all just as important, if not more important than your senior leadership. Senior leadership sets the standard operating procedures and the best practices and goals, but who implements those? That’s the heart of the organization.

One big part is building those relationships within the staff. Leadership becoming more of a coach and mentor to support staff is a big piece of it. That servant leadership is a big key piece of it. Going through it and making sure that you’re communicating, having full transparency with staff and the people that are part of your organization. Setting clear goals of you where you want to go and having a strategic plan put together. A big part of it too is empowerment by leadership and letting employees be creative. You’ve hired them to do a job and you’re hoping for them to push forward. You’ve hired them for a reason because of their specialties and what they can bring in. Overall, the last two things is looking to challenge staff to think outside the box. Is everyone trying to fit in this box? What happens if you’re a circle and you’re trying to fit into a square box? It’s not going to work. It’s having people challenge themselves and think outside the box. Then the bottom line is show appreciation to staff. If somebody does something good, call it out. Put it out there. Let people know that they’re recognized. Give people hope there is a future growth. That’s some of the main things about building employee wellness culture. If you’re coming new into it or as a new leader or even taking over an organization has been around, and you’re trying to change that to a positive culture, those are the things to focus at.

EZ 30 | Promote Wellness

Promote Wellness: It’s good to bring people in and say, “Just help me.” Listen to the employees on what is a good direction that you need to go.


I heard relationships, communication, clear goals, mentor leadership, empowering people to be creative and maybe to solve some problems without having to run to the boss, that sense of, “I belong here. I’ve got something to contribute to all of that.” The ability to challenge thinking outside the box and appreciation, how do those all play into wellness? By the way, this is a great juxtaposition because my guest was Larry Friis who talks about empower leadership and it was a similar set of lists. How does it affect wellness or well-being?

We are people. We all like to be recognized and we all like to feel appreciated. We all like to feel we’ve accomplished something. The reality of a lot of people with their work is they bring their work home or they take their home to work. Can’t people truly separate those out? I haven’t met a lot of people that can. It’s very tough. There are a lot of emotions that come into play. This is where we focus on our six-dimensional model. All of these things spin into that worksite culture. You have other areas including a diverse and inclusive culture and then having a mindful culture flourishing. If you look at just one of our dimensions in a six-dimensional model our emotional piece. If anyone can look at our website and go to it and you will talk about how this fits into wellness and you look at that emotional piece. You look at, “Can you control a lot of those emotions that you have? How do they relate to when you go home? Can you have those positive conversations with your significant other?” A lot of times, that stress that’s built up at work goes into how you work with your kids. If you have kids at home or your parents, that builds energy on you. It all has to do with building your own wellness.

You used the word energy. Health in many ways is an energy regime. Do you have the necessary energy? Is it disseminating through you? Is it disseminated from you to others? Because a lot of our problems, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual are cross-generational. It could be screwing up at work. It could also be screwing up our kids, which causes more stress that we bring back to work with us. It’s a vicious cycle. I’m hearing that being healthy, happy and successful all come from the same place. You can’t separate them from each other. We’re walking into this organization and we want to try to impact the quality of the relationships. We want to teach leadership how to lead and to use mentor leadership. How to create relationships that appreciate everybody in the organization. What else can we do? I’ve got a medium-sized business. I’ve got a number of employees and I want them to be healthier. I want them to be happier. I want them to be more productive. Some of what you’ve just described are things that maybe I haven’t put any effort into it. What else could I do?

Some of them come back to the best practices you are putting in place. Some of the standard operating procedures that are put in place. It all starts with the impression the new employees get when they come in for an onboarding. Were they onboarded in a good way? Was the communication straightforward? Are there trainings in place? Do staff have evaluations throughout the year? What’s funny is we’re getting into an era that the salary isn’t the main denominator of, “Do I take the job or do I not take the job?” There are a lot of people that I spoke with that they go in for a job interview and they’re offered $160,000 a year in a low cost of living place, but then they had a bad experience going through the process and they go, “I’ll be gone from there in six months because I won’t be able to stand management.”

Isn’t it truer with Millennials? They have a tendency to be less loyal to a company for life. They’re definitely looking for a quality of experience more than anything else.

If you're a circle and you're trying to fit into a square box, it's not going to work. Click To Tweet

You see that in a workplace is that a lot of Millennials, they are there two to three years. Even the Generation X is that people aren’t staying to a job because that’s just what they do. It’s not, “I got hired in here, so therefore I need to stay here.” That’s not the mentality anymore especially a lot of the Millennial generation they go into a workplace and they say, “I went three years here. I got well. I feel like I get out of it.” They go on to the next thing. They’re looking for that internal peace. That’s why they leave the company and move on. That’s becoming the norm. I’m not going to say that’s wrong. I’m not going to say there’s one better over the other, but it’s bad for companies if you’re losing good employees because the cultures are poor.

Especially if you’re offering a decent salary and now, “What else do I need to do?” A lot of managers and leaders they’re trained in that extrinsic motivation model. It’s like, “Maybe if I offer more money, maybe if I give them an incentive trip.” They are just trying to throw things at people and it doesn’t work because you haven’t addressed these fundamentals, the quality of relationship. There are companies that have done a lot to create a mindful culture. A culture where people learn how to get their minds quiet, where they learn how to let go of and dissipate stress. How not to believe everything in their own head and to be able to let things go. What’s working out there? Are companies able to successfully implement wellness programs that are mindfulness-based? If so, what’s going on in there?

I wish there was a simple magic wand or something I can give you and say, “This is what works.” The reality is that every organization is different and that’s not a bailout to answer your question. Every organization is so different. The people that are there, the longevity of people and leadership styles. There are some basic things that need to be implemented in order to lead a positive culture. The reality is that the organizations that you see, the senior leadership has better relationships with the mid-level staff, the part-time staff and maybe volunteers for organizations. When they have relationships that cover across the board, that trust and integrity is built. You can put all different programs in place. A lot of programs are check-a-box program.

They’re pretty basic just to satisfy the insurance plans or whatever it is they’re trying to do. It’s tough and I would say reach out to some of your wellness consultants that have been around and have worked for Fortune 500 companies and even small companies. Have them come in and do an internal audit for you and say, “Here’s what we’re seeing.” Sometimes it’s getting that second eye or that second ear to hear what’s happening. We miss things a lot of times that’s right in front of us. The obvious answer can sometimes be missed. That’s why it’s good to bring people in and say, “Just help me. Listen to my employees.” What is a good direction that we need to go? How can I do better at what I’m doing? A lot of the senior leadership staff themselves can learn a lot by going through some training. Whether they want to be a coach, they want to be a mentor or they want to understand how to be a better leader. Those are things that will help them be successful and attracting better employees and keeping better employees.

Have you seen some striking examples of how a company changes when leadership adapts some of those priorities?

Yes, I have. I’ve gone into one company. It was a very large company. It was about a $130 million a year company. They were very top-heavy in their leadership and the HR department they had were very strict on rules. It was just certain things and certain ways. It was policy, policy, policy. That hurt a lot of the culture. I’m not saying that policies are wrong. I’m not saying that having a structure in place is not important, but you need to understand that people are going to be people. People make mistakes. There are things that happen on a daily basis whether it’s internal with their whole life and they bring it to work. The HR department, senior leaders, they’ve got to be able to walk people through their journey to help them out in getting through it, whatever hardship they’re going through.

EZ 30 | Promote Wellness

Promote Wellness: We know and have found out through our own surveys and our own research we needed to do better at serving people.


I saw an organization before I had met with them and talk with them. They were going through and burning through employees very quickly. It wasn’t a good culture. A lot of that mid-higher-level management that was in their company was always afraid they were going to lose their jobs. They were always throwing other people under the bus because they didn’t want to have the spotlight put on them. You had to come in and say, “Everybody put your name tags down. Everyone put your rolls down. Everyone is equal here in this room. Let’s talk about what are some of the things that we can change to create a better culture.” It happened in that open transparent conversation and allowing yourself not to be hijacked.

We talked about this amygdala hijack and then people get defensive and then it turns against everybody. That’s where you can get down to putting in best practices and understanding the direction you need to go as an organization. When everybody is on the same playing field and say, “We’re going to make our program and we’re going to make our wellness program about the people that are in our organization. Not about just a select few of people. That’s what’s happened a lot.” I asked them, “Will you guys have a current employee wellness program in place?” They said, “Yes, we do.” It was a check-the-box program. It was run five miles in a year, “Go get a physical or go get your Biometric Screening done. Once you do this, submit it in and then we will give you $250 gift card.” The problem is you’re only going to get about 5% user rate or 5% of your employees participating because only the healthy ones are going to do it. The other people are not going to do it. They don’t want to talk about how unhealthy they are. They don’t want to talk about the stressors in life because that’s their employer. They don’t trust that they can. When that trust is built, that’s when things change and that’s when people will start getting into behavioral change. They have more mindfulness and they have more resilience. All those things will come with it. It’s not just one thing that’s going to work for you. It’s a lot of little things that will build up into one big thing.

Are companies being successful by having a gym in their in their facility or having a meditation room? In other words, bring some of the stuff right there to the workplace?

To be honest with you, I haven’t seen a lot of success. I’m sure it’s out there. I have no doubt that there are some that are out there. On the norm or on the higher average, I don’t know that I’ve seen a lot of success. You see a lot of these places invest a ton of money in building gyms in the worksite place and employees hardly ever use it. They don’t dedicate the time to it. Employees will feel like, “I’m here from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, then I’m leaving. I can’t take more than a 30-minute lunch break.” Where are you going to get your workout? Are you going to come in early because it affects your family? Are you going to stay late because now you’re missing out family time?” It’s tough. I haven’t seen it be very successful and they spend millions of dollars on building these places. I’m sure it’s out there. I just had not seen it myself.

If trust is built, that's when things change and people start getting into behavioral change and have more mindfulness and more resilience. Click To Tweet

Conversely rather than investing tens of thousands of dollars on building something that’s never going to get used, do you think that attending to some of these fundamentals, making people in this organization feel valued, respected, and appreciated, that has a tendency to motivate people to take better care of themselves? Does that happen?

I 100% agree with that. The thing is we’re talking about a non-tangible product with a tangible product. It’s tough because they say, “Here’s the gym. People should be healthy. People should be happy. We provided this for them.” That may not be what your culture or what your workforce is asking for. They may be saying, “All I need is a thank you from my boss and I will go out of my way to make sure the business succeeds.” That’s getting back to more of the holistic approach and understanding how we treat people. How we react to things. To me, a failure is a good thing. I do. I try to make sure that when I work with my employees here is that if somebody fails, it’s okay. Let’s help them figure out the solution and move through it and we don’t do it again.

Don’t attack somebody if they fail. Don’t attack somebody because they think differently than you. I’ve gone by this for the last ten years as I’ve learned from a few good mentors. I go by a listen-learn and listen-act. You hear the word listen there a couple of times because it’s so important that as senior leadership managers, supervisors, the more you listen the more you will learn. The more you listen again then you can make wise decisions to act. Too quickly nowadays, we want to respond aggressively or we want to respond in a way that is, “I can’t, you fix it now. You’re in trouble now. You’re going to get fired.” It’s very negative and very reactive. I know where we are as a country. I don’t want to get into this by any means politically, but we are so divided on so many different areas right now as a country. We need to come together as a whole community, which as a part in worksite wellness, is we need to think positively.

We need to think how do we help people work through their problems? When you get into things like that, those aren’t things that you see a positive reaction right away. Those are things that in two years or three years down the road, you start seeing that shift happen. Too quickly, we invest in wellness programs. I’ve seen companies do this time and time again. They’ll hire somebody for $40,000 a year to run a wellness program. They say, “The ROI on this after a year or the first year was terrible. We lost money because we invested too much.” The reality is we need to have more of a VOI approach. The value on investment opposed the return on investment. We can’t expect something like this to happen overnight. As an employer, you’ve got to know this is a five-year or a ten-year investment. That’s going to help you succeed rather than say, “It didn’t work the first year. The $100,000 that we’ve invested in with employees that we’ve hired and everything else, it didn’t work so we’re cutting out our losses.” That’s the worst thing a company can do.

That brings me to a question because what you’re saying it’s not ROI. In other words, “I’m going to put $40,000 into this wellness person. Then I’m looking at my numbers to see if I’m more than $40,000 above my bottom line. Did I actually make that money back?” That’s one metric, but it’s not a very useful metric because it’s a long-term investment and it’s not always going to show up in that way. There are other things we can be looking at. There are other things that we could be measuring or evaluating or observing or surveys. Are people happy? Are they feeling less stressed out? Are they showing up for work on time? Is there more engagement? With the National Wellness Institute, do you have resources or tools to help companies to evaluate the outcomes of programs like this so they could say, “We haven’t made the money back yet.” How does that play out? How do we do that?

Some of the things that you need to recognize the value on investment is it’s a long-term thing. You have to look at the budget over a certain amount of years. Budget is just one aspect of it. If you’re hiring a salaried employee, what is the rough cost that if you lose that person, was it going to cost you to hire on another person? By the time you post the position, pay for relocation or pay for training or the missed productivity that was in between this space of hiring. I look at it simply as if I hire any full-time employee, I’m at a minimum $10,000 investment. My question to a lot of employers, “If you’re having to rehire five, ten, fifteen, twenty full-time staff per year, you’re looking on an average each employee’s costing you $10,000 between training, onboarding, relocation, bonuses and whatever. What is that hitting in your bottom line? Those aren’t numbers you see right up front.”

EZ 30 | Promote Wellness

Promote Wellness: Try to get on the same page as everybody. Clear communication and transparency is so important.


$10,000 is extremely conservative.

I’m trying to be on all basis low here with all the sizes of the companies. We do have tools that help people evaluate where they are personally and where HR benefit people and wellness people can evaluate where employees are and a lot of coaching tools as well on our website. It’s under our resources tab.

Share the website because we don’t want anybody to miss that. That’s important.

It’s We’ve invested quite a bit of money on updating our website and our software. Adding in tools creating tools, creating tools, new online programs and online facilitator training programs. We’ve done a lot because we know and have found out through our own surveys and our own research that we needed to do better at serving people. We’ve created a lot of that. I would encourage people to please hop on our website. If you have any questions, call and we’re more than happy to help.

There are tons of resources. I’ve looked at the website and I’m blown away. You’re offering free webinars and downloads of tools. A lot of these tools that practitioners like myself or others are giving away saying, “Here are ten things you can do or here’s twelve-step quick in the trenches meditation technique that you can use. There are so many things that they can then just turnaround, download and provide to their employees to increase the perception of caring. It’s showing you care and developing trust. If you’re going to start disseminating this information as a leader to your employees, you’re basically sending them to them, “We care about you. We want you to know that we’ve got your back. We’re plugged into the National Wellness Institute. They’ve got tons of resources for you. Check out this webinar. Here’s a list that you could look at.”

I also want to mention our great podcast that we have. We have podcasts that range from anything on wellness coaching, mindfulness, behavioral change, resilience, worksite wellness programming and nutrition. Sleep is another big one that’s coming up here with a lot of companies, understanding the importance of sleep. We’re certain to do more work within the diabetes area. Trying to help people that are living with chronic disease. There are so many different things that we’re getting involved with and being a part of, but the bottom line in all our programs that we offer and everything that we focus on is all about helping people. Whether it’s someone who is interested in learning more about wellness, they can come on and get the research of education. There are resources on our website. They can come to our conference and they can get the education they need there. We’re all about family. We’re all about community. We’re all about building relationships.

What’s interesting is a lot of people that come to our conference, they come there for professional development. A lot of people leave saying, “I’ve got the professional development I was looking, but more importantly, I’ve got a personal renewal. My personal development is taken care of and I’ve made friends for life.” That’s what’s so important to me and the organization. It’s not pushing money. It’s not pushing programs. It’s how can we service people better to turn around and go out and help build the community they live in. That’s what it’s all about the bottom line.

It’s a paradigm shift that most people when they think of the business, they think of it being very structured, very linear and very not people-oriented. The people are subservient to the system. What you’re doing is you’re getting people in a room and you give them the chance to say, “No, the system is subservient to the people.” We want you to have good relationships, to feel appreciated, to feel like you’ve got it you’ve got resources at your disposal. That when you leave here, you’ve had a good laugh. You’re able to have a broader perspective on things. Your blood pressure has come down a little bit. This is so important. By the way, you’re going to have an amazing podcast from an incredible mindfulness teacher. Is there anything else you feel like you need to say to leaders to help entice them into understanding and appreciating the value of a wellness model and wellness culture?

There is so much to be said with, but the bottom line is what it comes down to is building relationships and understanding truly who your staff are and not who you think they are. That can be conflicting sometimes especially when you’re trying to deal with people who are introverts or extroverts. They think differently and trying to get on the same page as everybody. Clear communication and clear transparency are so important, but being a servant leader is most important; having humility, understanding, integrity and trust. I can’t tell you how important that is within organizations. There was a lot more to go to it. I appreciate the time. We’re not going to solve the world problems in this. Come to our website, check out the things that we have, become a member of NWI and come to our conference. I guarantee that people are reading this is that they will not be disappointed. When they call our office, they get someone on the phone. We can answer questions but we want to be here to support people who are either interested in wellness, want to do wellness better or help their company and their community grow. I definitely would love to have people join us and be part of our family. 

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I want to invite you to head over to to claim your free sample of my book, Buddha in the Trenches. If you enjoyed the show, send your comments to We hope you’ll share this with friends and your colleagues. You are welcome to keep it from competitors. Feel free to suggest the topic that’s particularly meaningful to you. If you like to learn how to bring me to your company to create a mindful holistic organization with fearless leaders, contact me at Please remember to check out The resources there are stellar. It’s a fun site to play around on. You’ll find great podcasts and interviews and whatnot.

We’re in the habit of ending our shows with a metaphor a quote and a challenge for the week. Back in my days as a chiropractor, we often would describe the holistic idea as being the removal of interference. We’d say that nature needs no help, it needs no interference. The problem for most of us is that something’s interrupting or blocking the natural expression of our well-being. It’s like what we’ve talked about. Sometimes what’s blocking our well-being is a feeling of resentment that we’re not in a trustworthy environment. That people don’t appreciate us for who we are. Removing barriers, removing obstacles. The metaphor is if you had a rock sitting on a plant because that plant tried to come up from the ground and grow, that plant would never come up and grow. If you remove the rock, the plant will grow quickly and inevitably toward the sun. That’s the same with your employees, get the rock off or find the rock. What’s the obstacle? What are your obstacles that are affecting your ability to empower people rather than just throwing money at them?

The quote for this episode is a quote that was on my wall in my chiropractic days. It was from Thomas Edison who said, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” Again it isn’t about giving people medicine. It isn’t about covering up symptoms. It’s about creating a wellness model and living that model and encouraging that model in every area of your life. As always, I invite my guest to share a challenge for the week. Matt, have you got something in mind that you could share with our guests that they could take with them?

I have a two-part challenge for this. One is we talked about visiting the website, On the Resources area under our Tools, we have a Wheel of Life. That Wheel of Life, anybody can use it. I love for everyone to go on there. Print that Wheel of Life out. Go through it. It has instructions on how to use it. Go through and look and see how your life is balance right now, how you’re doing in specific areas of our six dimensions and see where you can make those improvements. The other part is once you do that, I would encourage you to go out and find somebody that you can help fill their bucket. Fill their emotional bucket, their social bucket or whatever it is. Help them fill their bucket, which will then ultimately return and fill your bucket. That would be my two-part pieces. The Wheel of Life and filling the bucket to help you and the person you’re doing it with.

Basically giving gratitude and consciousness. I love that wheel. The wheel is such a great graphic example of where our deficits are. It’s hard to ignore them once you’ve done that exercise. That’s phenomenal. When we return on our next episode, my guest will be empowerment coach and fellow Habitude Warrior speaker Deborah Knight. Remember to share this with your friends, subscribe to my podcast, visit iTunes or iHeart Radio and find my channel, which is Executive Zen. Remember to lead consciously and profit responsibly. Take care.

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About Matt Lund

EZ 30 | Promote WellnessMatt serves as the Executive Director for the National Wellness Institute, the world’s oldest non-profit 501©3 Wellness organization that provides services to people around the world. He love building health & wellness cultures, high performing teams and positioning organizations to be inclusive, diverse and innovative so they can thrive and flourish. His philosophy is that If we make wellness about people, people will become happier and healthier!

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