You don’t become an effective leader just because you decide one day you want to be one! Did Tiger Woods just decide one day he wanted to be the No 1 golfer in the world – and hey presto, he was?? Did Michael Jordan do the same? And Roger Federer?
You get the message. What do they all have in common? Reading the biographies of great sportspeople and world leaders, one of the things that they all have in common is they have daily routines that they are absolutely committed to.
Why? Because practise makes perfect and if you want to be an effective leader, then you must have routines that you practise daily to “sharpen the saw” as Stephen Covey says.
So, what are those daily routines?
- Rise early. Get a head start on the day and you will hit that day running. Rise late and you spend the day chasing it.
- Spend 5 minutes writing your key annual goals in a notepad. You should have no more than 5 or 6 key goals and when you write them down daily they stay at the front of your conscious and subconscious mind – write them once and put them away, and you just forget them and you consign your goals to failure.
- Write your journal. If you are serious about becoming an effective leader, then have one place where you capture all your thoughts and ideas – don’t trust your memory. This will become a treasure chest that will be priceless
- Identify the 3 most important tasks you need to undertake today that support and progress your annual goals. If you are not working to move your goals forward today, then you are just “busy”. Don’t confuse “busy” with being “effective”.
- Plan your day. Sounds obvious but so often neglected. I don’t mean just appointments – schedule time to complete all the activities you need to undertake to achieve your goals
- Schedule time to handle emails. This is critical. Only deal with your emails twice or three times a day. Being a slave to your incoming emails can be the greatest time waster of all – and you justify it in the name of “work” Be really disciplined!
- Take regular breaks to recharge your batteries. Go for a quick 5 minute walk around the garden, grab a coffee, or better still, a glass of water, read the paper – just anything that will give you a breather. But be disciplined – go back to your plan after your 5 minutes! Don’t procrastinate.
Stick to these routines, or create your own, and you will develop and grow as a person. Remember, to be an effective leader you have to be an effective person!!
By Nathan Dean