One Coast Magazine were fortunate enough to spend a few days with Mr Rodney King at the tranquil and beautiful Tree Roots Retreat in Rayong recently and thoroughly discuss his EmbodiedMBA program that is conducted in collaboration with Tree Roots Retreat where they offer a 5-day EmbodiedMBA intensive package.

This option is great for Corporate Team Building and Executive Teams and One Coast Magazine was onsite to find out more.

EmbodiedMBA integrates the science of mindfulness, with inner game management tools, delivered through an action learning experience — designed to help you, your staff, team and organization to achieve more focus, presence and resilience.

Success Is an Inside Job.
The world is changing at an unprecedented pace. Not only are organisations, but team leaders are struggling to keep up with these changes. While management may ‘think’ about strategies and tactics that will drive organisational success, action is still required to succeed. Action by its very nature requires team members to go from merely thinking,
to becoming embodied agents that actively engage in the organisational landscape they find themselves in. As organisations and the world increases its pace of change, more and more demands are being placed on each person. These increases in demands, create an inner
unbalance, instability, and turbulence, that tends to overpower a person’s ability to act effectively in achieving both organisational as well as personal goals. Said another way, even though team members may have the necessary skills to achieve what they have been asked, the constant increase in demands placed upon them from inside and outside of organisational life, creates an increase in demands on their inner world. What emerges is a loss of equanimity, that stops even the most competent among team members from fully realising their full potential. Working with team members that feel this inner defeat (even though we as leaders, and management know they have everything they need to achieve
success), can be unsettling, even defeating. Organisations often respond with more training, but this training almost never targets the real problem of unsuccessful performance — a person’s inner game.

The truth is, almost all training, and almost all learning presented both in organisations and higher educational institutions focus exclusively on brain smarts. Consider for example the lauded MBA degree. A graduate level degree achieved at a university or college that provides theoretical and practical training to help graduates gain a better understanding of general business management functions. Yet still, none of this learning encompasses inner management training. The truth is our biggest obstacle to success is how we tend to the inside. This is not just what is happening in our heads, but in our body, and spirit as well. It is our embodied inner opponent, not necessarily our lack of head knowledge that poses the greatest risk to our defeat. Yet, ironically, no one is ever given a class in how to achieve inner excellence — arguably the most important skill set to develop, to achieve success in business and life. The Embodied Mind Body-Accelerator program, is a new kind of ‘MBA’. It is a ‘graduate’ level inner training program that focuses first and foremost on embodied game development. It is designed to enable team members, management and leaders to learn key insights in managing their inner landscape — thus enabling them to find inner balance to fully engage within the frantic organisational world they now find themselves in. The EmbodiedMBA is built upon sound research, empirically tested and designed for real world application. The EmbodiedMBA is a process that can be taught as a stand-alone workshop either to individuals or teams in organisations. EmbodiedMBA easily integrates into any coaching or performance framework and methodology. This means the EmbodiedMBA can integrate into any organisational performance structure already in place
for team members. In addition, while the EmbodiedMBA is first delivered through a somatic (i.e., embodied) based process, many of the principles taught, can easily be transferred and or expanded further into other coaching methodologies. In fact, what makes the EmbodiedMBA so powerful is that the tools and strategies taught are meant to be both practiced, and applied within a persons’ life and work environment. Not only is EmbodiedMBA delivered from a practical base, it is designed to be applied in practice in life and career.

All the Benefits of Meditation and More – NO Cushion Required!
According to the Cranfield University School of Management and The Institute for Employment Studies (IES), for sustainable health and performance across an organisation, mindfulness training needs to target change readiness through mindful working at the team level. This process can be started by delivering mindfulness training to entire workplace teams (including the team leader) and by including a range of team level mental fitness techniques. A team-based design and delivery format creates the platform from which teams develop the capabilities required to embrace increased volatility, transparency, and complexity within organisational settings. The embodied fitness techniques that are taught in the EmbodiedMBA experience are designed to not only boost individual, but
equally team level performance. However, we go beyond teaching the science of mindfulness, showing participants how to engage their entire ’embodied intelligence’ to achieve peak performance at work (and life).

An Example Teaching EmbodiedMBA to Leaders
When teaching the EmbodiedMBA experience to leaders — they all agree that fast accurate decision making is crucial in their professional lives. In martial arts, fast accurate decisions are important to success in engaging a moving, unpredictable target. We found that if we simply teach leaders ‘intellectually’ how to make fast decisions, they will be less likely to try those new skills out in the crucible of work — where wrong decisions could have
catastrophic consequences. Teaching inner management tools through martial arts drills, not only simulates ‘real life’ experiences, it allows leaders to build inner confidence in the embodied tools being developed. Crucially the experiential experience of the EmbodiedMBA, allows leaders to test the results of the experience, as well as pause,
reflect and restart — before applying those skills with confidence in their professional lives.

The EmbodiedMBA Philosophy.
Ever since René Descartes in the seventeenth century separated the mind from what the body does (dualism) — we have in the West been largely dominated by the idea that our mind is distinct and functions independently from our body. We have as Aposhyan in Natural Intelligence notes, for centuries reduced the experience of our body to a mechanical one. In other words, if it doesn’t appear in the thinking mind, then it does not exist in
reality. The EmbodiedMBA experience throws this conventional way of thinking on its head. We encouraged participants to go beyond reason and rationality, and to connect with their entire self in a way that brings their natural intelligence to life. The underlying premise behind the EmbodiedMBA experience is that who we are on the inside (not just in our head, but all of us) determines success in life and work. EmbodiedMBA is an embodied process that recognises that our behaviour arises as an embodied agent actively engaged in the world. Thus, the kind of felt relationship one has to one’s body, is a precondition for behaviours that result in success, be that in work, or in life. The reality is, but often never
taught, that success at work (and life) is directly related to a person’s
awareness of, and ability to manage, what is happening within their own bodies (crucially in high stress encounters).

What We Teach in The EmbodiedMBA Experience.
In life, we want everything to be perfect. In fact, most people don’t try to achieve anything because they are waiting for perfect to happen. Probably the biggest lesson Rodney King creator of EmbodiedMBA ever learned was that, while you are waiting for things to be just right, life happens. The sooner you come to grips with imperfection, the sooner you can achieve personal and professional success. In this section of training, we will take participants through a series of drills that will highlight the paradox of imperfection, that is needed for perfect peak performance to happen.

Thinking isn’t inherently bad, but what a person focuses on can be. Reflecting on past mistakes, or planning are crucial for long term achievement. But when it comes to performance, in the moment, when it matters most, past and future can get a person into trouble. When a person’s thoughts are moving into the past or the future, they can easily get caught up in a mental vortex, and spin out of control. Most importantly they lose contact with the present moment, the only moment they can fully respond with clarity. In this section of training we teach specific thinking drills that will enable participants to harness the power and clarity of present moment thinking.

How you hold your body, not only changes your physiology, it also changes how you think and feel about yourself. How you show up in the world then, matters more than you ‘think’. Scientists have discovered that some very simple gestures, such as how you shape your mouth, can affect your mental attitude. Bottom line, the fact is while our minds and bodies are different, they always go together. In this section of training we introduce participants
to Attitude Embodied, and why it is essential for peak performance in any endeavour.

This is the backbone of the EmbodiedMBA experience. In this section, we introduce participants to mindfulness-in-action. Mindfulness is a state of being where you can be present without judging the outcome of your experience. It involves not becoming attached to negative thinking and emotions, and the stories that have always held a person back from achieving success in their career and life. The outcome is the ability to be fully present, which then leads to what we call embodying a fluid mind. This is an embodied state that will allow a person to take on the martial arts of everyday life more skilfully and win!

Breathing shouldn’t only be something a person does simply to stay alive, but rather, and equally important something they need in order to act. More and more, the medical community is realising that sympathetic dominance (fear/aggression response) underlies many modern-day maladies, including anxiety and hypertension. While all the variables of the root cause of sympathetic dominance are not completely understood, one root causes is, in fact, suboptimal breathing. This section of training looks at how participants can speak to their nervous system so that they can better manage those moments of intense stress.

True success in life is one’s ability to bounce back from setbacks. But it is also about putting in the work. In this final section of training we focus on showing participants how to build resilience, surviving the hustle and why we believe they need more challenge play in their life to truly be successful.

The Experience
We currently offer three versions of the EmbodiedMBA experience, along with custom one-on-one coaching solutions when requested by clients. Option 1 and 2 can be conducted onsite, at your organization or Team Building event.
Option 1 – Exploratory EmbodiedMBA Workshop Session: A two and a half hour workshop experience where we introduce participants to the main core themes of the EmbodiedMBA experience. Great for teams, and organizations.
Option 2 – EmbodiedMBA Immersion: This is our flagship program, presented over two days consisting of 5-hours of intensive training. Great for teams, organizations, and retreats.
Option 3 – EmbodiedMBA Retreat: In collaboration with Tree Roots Retreat in Rayong, Thailand, we offer a 5-day EmbodiedMBA intensive. This option is fantastic for Corporate Team Building and Executive Teams.

Rodney King
Coach Rodney King’s undergraduate work was in psychology, and he earned his Master’s Degree in Leading Innovation and Change from York St John Universities School of Business (UK). He is currently a Social Scientist, and Doctoral Student at the University of Leicesters School of Business, where his research focuses on mindfulness-in-action and its role in leadership effectiveness. In addition, Rodney is a world renowned martial arts coach, a 4th degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is the author of Full Contact Living and Shugyo-Fit. He is the creator of two successful modern martial art lifestyle brands, and a sought-after coach, who has taught seminars, and trained world champions all over the world. In addition, he has taught special force military units how to develop high-performance mind-sets for the battlefield. His empty hand combative program has been endorsed by US Army Special Forces. He has instructed law enforcement officers in the United States, Canada and Germany on how to protect themselves when all else fails. As an entrepreneur and an embodied life performance coach he has worked closely with corporate executives, artists, leaders, entrepreneurs and CEOs — coaching them on how to access their inner game for sustained success in high pressure organisational environments.