LeadershipLean Healthcare

Strengthening the Base

By Ron Pereira Updated on June 8th, 2020

strengthen immune system covid 19As the world continues to work through Covid-19 much has been written about prevention.  There are many preventive guidelines recommended by various health organizations and I’m sure you know them all by heart now.

But there’s something I wish more folks were shining a light on.  And that’s the importance of, what I call, strengthening your base.  I suppose the more traditional terminology would be to strengthen your immune system.

I also believe strengthening your base applies to businesses and, most definitely, our lean movement.  More on that in a bit.

But, as it relates to the “human base” the science is showing that comorbidities such as obesity magnify the negative effects of Covid-19 and other illnesses and disease.  Now, does this mean fit people are immune from this, or any, virus or disease?  Of course not.  But, given the choice, being physically fit, and having a strong base, puts you into the best position to thrive in all phases of life.

Strengthening Your Physical Base

Disclaimer: To be clear, I am not a doctor.  I don’t play a doctor on TV or in Gemba Academy videos.  And you should definitely consult with your own doctor on anything related to your health and fitness.

As it relates to strengthening your physical base my personal approach is to exercise 4 to 5 times per week.  For me, this involves doing things like weight lifting, running, and interval training at a medium intensity level (I no longer crush my soul during every workout).

I also do my best to avoid processed foods.  I try to eat as cleanly as possible while radically limiting the amount of sugar I take in.  I also never, ever drink sugary beverages.

Now, am I perfect with nutrition?  No way.  I’ve been known to enjoy some pizza with my kids and I am not the guy who looks at my 6-year-old daughter during her birthday party and says, “Sorry honey… Daddy can’t eat that poison.”  In other words, eat the stupid birthday cake people… just stop at one piece!

I also take supplements including Quercentin, Glutathione, Zinc, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D.

Finally, I do my very best to get at least 8 hours of quality sleep while my trusty humidifier runs beside me each and every night!  Apparently, humidifiers have positively helped folks combat influenza viruses in the past.

Strengthening Your Emotional Base

I hate conflict.  I hate drama.  Just ask my wife… she knows I’ll do anything to avoid a fight.  This doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions, or feelings, or thoughts on what is right and what is wrong.  I do.  But, I do my very best to not let others, who I don’t agree with, upset me.

So, as it relates to strengthening my emotional base I most definitely rely on my faith.  For me, nothing is more important.  I pray and meditate on scripture daily.

I also try my best to practice stoicism.  When someone ticks me off with their words or actions I repeat Marcus Aurelius’ famous words multiple times,“Choose not to be harmed—and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed—and you haven’t been.”  I then do some Navy Seals box breathing and, after a minute or two, I’m good to go.

What about Business and How Does Lean Thinking Help?

To conclude, I want to share my thoughts on how businesses, and our lean movement in general, can strengthen our respective bases.

Does your company have a plan for dealing with crisis?  If not, please work to resolve this.  Standard Work and other lean principles aren’t just for operating in good times.  We need to be able to fall back on these principles during good and bad times.

Additionally, being fiscally responsible, and having adequate cash in the bank, is absolutely critical.  If you don’t know your company’s runway, which is a fancy way of knowing how long you could keep the lights on and your employees employed if revenue stopped coming in, please resolve to.  I am personally blessed, beyond comprehension, to have Kevin Meyer as a business partner.  He sleeps and dreams about metrics like Gemba Academy’s runway!

The Future is Uncertain

No one on earth knows what the future holds.  We can predict.  We can extrapolate.  We can worry.  We can have hope.  But, in the end, nobody really knows nothin’.

As such, my personal belief is that we can, and should, seek to optimize all phases of our life to the very best of our ability.  We should take care of, and strengthen, ourselves.  We should take care of, and love, our neighbors (including those we don’t agree with).  And we should take care of, and strengthen, our businesses and this lean movement many of us are so passionate about.


  1. Ron Mehring

    June 5, 2020 - 1:05 pm

    I enjoyed this post. Very helpful. Thank you!

    • Ron Pereira

      June 5, 2020 - 1:08 pm

      Thanks, Ron! Hope you’re well and still getting after those workouts! I vividly remember laying on the ground besides you… as our souls temporarily left our bodies after those assault bike / ski erg WODs! LOL!

  2. Rodrigo Picoli

    June 5, 2020 - 2:00 pm

    Excellent Text!

    • Ron Pereira

      June 5, 2020 - 2:01 pm

      Thanks, Rodrigo. Hope you’re well.

  3. Matt George

    June 6, 2020 - 4:09 am

    Sound advice for anyone. I practice much of what you talked about but there is always room for improvement. Thanks for sharing. God bless you and your family.

    • Ron Pereira

      June 7, 2020 - 9:08 pm

      Thanks, Matt. I am glad this added value.

  4. James La Trobe-Bateman

    June 6, 2020 - 9:04 am

    Good on you, Ron, to go a bit outside all the nitty-gritty technicalities and pay attention to the practitioner. Very much close to my heart, I have to say. i would argue that how successful you are depends as much on understanding who you are (which implies looking after yourself) as understanding the operation you work with. More like this post, please!

    • Ron Pereira

      June 7, 2020 - 9:10 pm

      Thanks, James! Glad you liked it. And you’re so right… there’s a reason they tell the grown-ups to put their oxygen mask on first.

  5. Sarah Tilkens

    June 10, 2020 - 9:54 am

    This is an awesome article, Ron. I very much appreciate that you talk not just about physical conditioning but also mental conditioning. I think now more than ever people need to be aware of how much stress can impact their health in a negative way. Continuing to find healthy ways to cope with stress and stay positive in this ever changing environment is more important than ever! Thanks for sharing!

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