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10 Ways Spas Build Physical Strength

June 13, 2024

Today’s spa-goer views the spa as a place of holistic well-being that promotes physical vitality and mental resilience. The modern spa must transcend mere pampering and relaxation to offer its guests a pathway to rejuvenation and empowerment. Here are important ways spa leaders promote a healthy body:

4 Inspiring Insights from John Ondrasik

March 28, 2017

Singer-songwriter and 2016 ISPA Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award recipient John Ondrasik closed this year’s General Session with one thought-provoking question: “What kind of world do you want?” 

4 Thought Provoking Questions by Brene Brown

March 28, 2017

When Daring Greatly best-selling author Brené Brown made a brave decision to talk about her own struggle with shame and vulnerability at a TEDx Talk, she had no idea her life was about to change.

5 Powerful Takeaways from Simon Sinek

March 28, 2017

Leadership expert Simon Sinek closed this year’s General Session with a compelling challenge to the ISPA community: “Every single person in this room has the opportunity to be the leader you wished you had. So make a choice. Be the leader you wished you had.”

A Conversation with Claude Silver- The ROI of Leading with Heart

January 4, 2024

Pulse: As a Knowledge Builder presenter at the 2024 ISPA Conference, you will address the ISPA membership about “the ROI of Leading with Heart.” Share a little about what “leading with heart” means.

Claude Silver: Leading with heart is a transformative leadership approach with a far-reaching positive impact. Promoting others’ growth contributes to overall prosperity for your organization. Empowering employees through heart not only fosters a thriving team spirit, but also drives business success.


A Conversation with Dr. Bryan K. Williams- Leaders Serve & Servers Lead: Keys To Inspire Exceptional Service

January 4, 2024

Pulse: You’ve been a mainstay of the ISPA Conference for nearly two decades, and members remind us every year to invite you to join us at the annual spa gathering. This year, you will present a topic new to ISPA attendees, but one that has helped shape your own career. Is there a success story you’d like to share?

Bryan K. Williams: Absolutely! One of my fondest memories of “leaders serve and servers lead” is when I was a pool and beach attendant at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas. I was a senior in high school at the time. The general manager of the resort noticed my work ethic and called me to his office. He challenged me to come up with seven life goals, and then subsequently met with me weekly—in his office—to review the goals. After one year, he transferred to another hotel, but by the time I was 28 years old, I had done everything on the goals list.

A Conversation with Erica Dhawan

September 14, 2023

Pulse: You are known for helping leaders inspire their teams to collaborate. When did you first recognize the power of innovation in workplace culture?

ERICA DHAWAN: Research has proven over and over that the romantic myth of the lone genius fails because it obscures the social, connected qualities of innovation. We can multiply our own knowledge, drive and insight “by the power” of others. Embracing this insight is a key aspect of getting big things done in life and work.

A case in point is the recent shift toward greater collabo[1]ration through peer-to-peer virtual communities. A few years ago, the CFO of a law firm noticed a decline in billing among their incoming associates. He discovered they had created a virtual Teams community to share information and advice about their cases. When someone had a problem or question, he or she would pose it on the forum and often immediately receive the answer from a peer. By collaborating with each other in this way, they were able to work better and far more quickly—across offices, practices and levels. For the first time ever, the firm’s leaders had to ask themselves, How can we learn about how to innovate faster and better ways of collaborating from our youngest employees—where horizontal collaboration is natural to them outside of in-person interactions? Today, they have created virtual peer-to-peer communities at all levels of the firm to increase social connections. To me, innovation starts by learning from others, collaborating in new ways and taking these lessons to maximize value and impact in organizations.

A Conversation with Justin Wren

March 7, 2024

Pulse: The principles of well-being and self-care are often associated with spa environments. How do they align with your own journey as an MMA fighter and humanitarian?

Justin Wren: Well, from the wrestling and MMA world, we always used saunas and ice baths and needed massage, so we always found ourselves in a spa environment. First, when we had no money, it was laying on the wrestling mats and our training partners rubbing out our shoulders, our hamstrings, our calves, our back and neck. Then when I got to the Olympic Training Center, we would have massage therapists once a week. We’d get in the ice baths, we’d always be in the sauna, especially before tournaments. And in the MMA world, whenever you’re fighting, you’re always finding the spa that had a gym, a sauna, a steam room, hopefully cold plunges, and then massage therapy that could really help you. I would say it changed from performance to taking care of myself later in my MMA career to now having four ice baths—or four cold plunges—and two saunas at home, and starting a podcast around the heat and the cold and the benefits those have for the body.

A Conversation with Ryan Leak

November 2, 2023

Pulse: The spa world has a long history of efforts to improve individuals’ holistic health. As a community, we sometimes are more successful providing care to others than to ourselves. How can spa professionals balance self care with their mission to tend to others?

Ryan Leak: Practice what they preach. It’s so easy to sell the things that are working well for us. At that point, we’re not selling, we’re just being. I always say, there’s got to be an area of your life where you are truly “off” with Do Not Dis[1]turb on. We can only give out what has been put in.

Pulse: In your role as CEO of a leadership development firm, you work with Fortune 500 companies and professional sport teams and other high-profile businesses. What does it take to be effective and sustainable as a leader?

RL: Sustainable leadership requires truth tellers. What often comes with the territory of leadership is people not being honest with them to save face or save their jobs. Leaders have to have people around them who can be honest with them when an idea or strategy isn’t good.

A Conversation with Suneel Gupta

January 4, 2024

Pulse: Spa is meant to be a place where individuals can find balance. How does your advocacy for emotional resilience and engagement complement the work done in spas?

Suneel Gupta: One of the things I find interesting about your work is you bring people’s lives into balance. What you do is really important—desperately needed. The number one driver of mental health for most of us is our work, our job. There’s an intimate connection between our work and our well-being. The reverse is also true: If we aren’t feeling good, our work is also exhausted. Our wellbeing harmonizes our work.

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