Managing your time and energy is essential to your leadership. Here is a practical way to take care of yourself and, therefore, those you lead.
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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:
1. Get Things Prepared the Night Before.
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.
2. Get Enough Sleep.
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.
3. Slay your Dragons.
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.
4. Use Your Time Wisely.
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!
1. Desire Growth
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.
2. Be Humble in the Face of Criticism
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.
3. Seek Wise Counsel
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?
4. Have a greater purpose
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?
5. Stop the Repeat
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.
6. Learn from Everyone
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.
8. Celebrate Small Victories
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
The secret to thinking more positive. It will change your life.
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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
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An excellent coach is:
- A great listener
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- Offers different perspectives
- Is willing to have hard conversations
- Willing to challenge and confront when necessary
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- Insists that the coaching relationship produces results for the client
I am and will be an excellent coach for you!
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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.
Coaching is for anyone that wants to improve his or her leadership.
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