“If we are unaware of where we are, or if we have lost our bearing and wandered off course, any leadership we provide may not assist in leading our followers to the desired destination.” This post will help you create something of great value
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The alarm rings and you sit up, what do you do? You have two choices:
1. Hit snooze or
2. Get up
You want to get up, but you just can’t. Why is it so hard to get up? You really wanted to get up and start your day off well. You planned a morning with purpose so your day has purpose. The alarm rings again. Now you have to get up because you are late. The first decision you made in your day you already regret because now you are hurried and the momentum of your morning will follow you all day. You rush out the door, tear down the freeway and weave past hundreds of cars. You are easily frustrated. You have no patience for people, computers, phones, reports, etc. You drop things. You forget appointments. You have a small fuse and little things set you off. And all you think about is getting back to bed. You even promise yourself you would go to bed early that night to get yourself back on track the next day.
According to new findings, more than a third of American adults hit the snooze button at least three times each morning, and more than half of people ages 25 to 34 press snooze daily. Furthermore, the snooze button will make you wake up sleepier then when you originally woke up.
(Click for study)
What you do in the first hour of your day sets the tone and direction for the rest of your day.
Here are four tips for having a great first hour of the day:
Before you go to sleep, develop a routine. Get coffee in the pot with water and all you need to do is flip it on. Lay out your clothes. Make your lunch and put it in the fridge. Do everything you can so you don’t have to think or worry about it. Now you can relax and enjoy the morning.
I have a few friends who are convinced they can live off of 4-5 hours of sleep a night. I once had a conversation with a lady who napped 2-3 hours a night and spent the rest of the time working. I am not making this up! Sleep is good. Think about it: when children are growing, they sleep more; when people get sick, they sleep more. Don’t underestimate your need to sleep. Get 7-8 hours of sleep. See how good you feel.
Take care of the important issues right away. Work out, read your Bible, eat breakfast, etc. Click here to read my post, How to Slay your Dragons. It’s a good one.
Have a game plan what you would like to accomplish before the morning begins. Have a routine you like. In my ideal first hour, I would get up on time, spend some time reading my Bible, get ready before my kids are up, help my wife get the kids ready for the day, and enjoy breakfast with the family. Doesn’t that sound nice? When I use every minute of my first hour, I am intentional with my time and my family, I can accomplish my goals and stay focused throughout the rest of my day. Now on the days this doesn’t happen, it’s usually because my first choice of the day was: hit snooze. Make the better choice – GET UP!
First, you have to want to get better. Are you satisfied with “pretty good” or just getting by? You may justify that you like to be comfortable in your job, but in reality are you striving for a reason to be lazy? Laziness is not a trademark of a leader. Lazy is for sheep. If you are reading this, you want to be a shepherd. You desire growth.
Correction is hard to take. But no one does it perfectly. Some of the best lessons I have learned as a leader have been challenging and hard. I like to think that correction from someone not only gives me the opportunity to change, but allows me to think through other perspectives. As a leader, you must have thick skin. You can’t build massive biceps unless you work hard and tear up your muscles at the gym.
It is important to have people in your life that are readily available to give you wise and trustworthy counsel. I have 4 guys I regularly go to; each of these friends have a specific role in my life and how they counsel me in my leadership. Do you have anyone you can go to? One of George Washington’s best contributions was the invention of his carefully appointed advisors, known as the Cabinet. This wasn’t written in the Constitution, but he created this because he knew the importance of having a group of men around him to give him counsel. Who is in your cabinet? Do they know their roles?
The famous quote by Eric Liddle states, “God made me fast and when I run I feel his pleasure.”
I recently had a talk with a mentor of mine who mentioned this statement. He talked about the importance of what I do and how I feel when I take part in it. Fill in the following blanks:
“God made me ________, and when I ________ I feel his pleasure.”
What would you place in those blanks? What is your greater purpose in your leadership?
I have been an assistant coach for a number of head coaches who have said the same thing. “I have been doing this for 35 years. I know what I am doing.” What I wanted to say in response was, “No, you did it once then just repeated it for 34 more years.” This should give you a healthy fear of repeating the same performance. Stop the repeat and get better. There is always something to tweak, change, or make better. Good leadership never settles for mediocrity.
My dad used to tell me, “They teach you how to do it and how not to do it.” Before I became a head coach, some of the worst coaches I coached for taught me a lot, mostly how not to do things. Are you looking to learn from the worst leaders? They can teach you more than you may realize.
Harry S. Truman once said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
Read. Then read some more. Read with a friend. Read with a spouse. Gain new perspectives and further your understanding in order to improve on whatever you’re reading about. I try to read for about 30 minutes before I sleep every night. (Sometimes more if the book is really good). I sleep better and I learn something. Knowledge is in books, not on American Idol.
Do not be too important to be passionate about your role. Be enthusiastic with your leadership. Some of my favorite coaches to watch are Pete Carroll or Jim Harbaugh – their passion and excitement is contagious. Athletes want to be led by a coach that is charismatic in their beliefs. Do you believe in your own leadership? Don’t be too important to miss out on what is happening around you. Be excited about having Gatorade dumped on you after a win; tackle an athlete that just broke the school record; storm the court after a win. Show that you care.
Growth will happen when you seek it out. It will not happen because you were given a title. It is an unfortunate commentary, but a good leader is an exception not the norm. Be the exception!
I read many articles online about leadership. One article that I love is, Slay Your Dragons Before Breakfast. You can click here and read an article in its entirety. I have adjusted the ideas of the article to fit my life and platform, but the overall concept is mind blowing. I believe some of these ideas can be useful for you as well.
Every Morning I Wake Up To A Big Scary Fire-Breathing Dragon
Life is crazy. Life is chaotic. Life can feel like you are putting out fires one after another. I once heard it like this: You are given a plate. This plate holds all your roles and responsibilities. Some leaders can handle a lot, while others not so much. All depends on the plate size. As a leader, wouldn’t you want a larger plate?
An Ideal Week can increase your plate size.
Take charge of your day/week/month so you are productive and feel like you have accomplished something of value.
Wake up each day with purpose and a priority list of goals
Create a schedule that demands your very best without Burn Out.
Michael Hyatt states: “You have a choice in life. You can either live on-purpose, according to a plan you’ve set. Or you can live by accident, reacting to the demands of others. The first approach is proactive; the second reactive.”
A few years back my mentor Dave Kraft introduced me to an Ideal Week - A way to be more proactive. It is important and productive to have a game plan you can come back to when you lose course. An Ideal Week is your compass.
The ideal week is a visual of how you would like to use your time. In reality you are never really able to follow the schedule perfectly, however, you now have a game plan.
This keeps me balanced. You can find my focus areas on the bottom of the spreadsheet.
When I feel out of “whack” or unbalanced, I look at my ideal week. I will make adjustments to the seasons of life I find myself in. It is simple. An excel spreadsheet and I added color.
Interested in the Ideal Week.
Get started on your own and let the productivity begin!
- I have coached/mentored college athletes who have put their class schedule in their ideal week and when they were going to study, go out, sleep, and workout.
- I have coached/mentored business professionals who wanted to make better time when they traveled and when they were working out of the house.
- I have coached/mentored pastors that desire to be more effective in their ministries and can give everyone the time they are asking for.
- I have coached/mentored teachers and coaches who wish to end their day feeling like they didn’t waste any time.
People count on you. This is just a tool. A means to an end. I personally don’t like my life as a template, however there is great value in routine, structure, and discipline. Time is a non-renewable resource. You only get so much of it. Use it wisely. Make an Ideal Week.
The secret to thinking more positive. It will change your life.
Common issues that our clients are looking to be coached in include:
- Personal leadership growth
- Work life balance
- Staff dynamics and leadership
- Creating and Implementing Vision
- Creating a culture of developing high potential leaders
- Improving communication amongst leader and organization
- Creating shared values and guidelines for organization
- Creating an environment with smart measurable goals
An excellent coach is:
- A great listener
- Excels in problem solving
- Enjoys difficult challenges
- Has the ability to focus
- Consistently offers encouragement and support
- Is clear and concise
- Has the ability to see through fog to core issues
- Has a wide variety of experience
- Has excellent communication skills
- Desires that clients experience change
- Offers different perspectives
- Is willing to have hard conversations
- Willing to challenge and confront when necessary
- Points out what clients may not see
- Insists that the coaching relationship produces results for the client
A Coach will move you forward toward achieving your goals.
A Coach will help you get unstuck.
A Coach will develop your leadership potential.
A Coach will empower you to accelerate change in your organization.
A Coach will assist your organization in navigating transitions.
A Coach will help you to grow in Character, Health, Life, and Leadership.
- A Head Coach of a sports program
- A Team Leader in the work place
- An Individual who desires to see personal growth in their own leadership
Click here to get in Contact with Coach JT Ayers. I will never promise something that I cannot deliver on.