I was recently chatting with a potential new client and he made the comment that many people make about Executive Coaching – “We have never gotten the quality returns from any Leadership Development program we have invested in, why should we keep investing?”
This comment makes a good point. Many executive leadership programs preach about the unbridled success that will follow after attending their coaching, seminars or programs, but then fail to live up to the expectations of real and genuine change within a person or an organization.
Many traditional leadership coaching and programs provide the teaching and materials for leadership but fail to provide the real-life, as-lived practices and exercises needed to turn what is learned into reality.
At Awesome Journey, we work with great leaders to develop and continuously maintain their “leadership muscles” through intentional practices. Similar to a diet and exercise regime where a balanced diet and regular exercise are needed for long-term sustainable results, daily practices are needed for leadership development.
Leadership muscles are the practices you do that enable you to be an authentically powerful leader that can bring forth transformation for yourself and your organization.
7 Daily Practices for Leadership Muscles:
- Breathing Practice: 10 to 20 minutes of deep breathing daily will support building Mental Clarity to reduce stress and improve decision making.
- Time Mastery Practice: Having a routine for reviewing your schedule at the beginning and end of each day to bring clarity and organization to your priorities to ensure you are focusing on the right things at the right time.
- Design & Planning Practice: The outcome of each activity or task in your day is a result of how well it was planned and designed to achieve its goals.
What is the purpose and objective of an upcoming meeting/conversation?
How can I prepare to ensure we achieve our objective?
- Self-Awareness Practice: Being aware of your emotional triggers and having mechanisms to cope, focus and move forward. Being self-aware means you have awareness of your strengths, weaknesses, blind spots, and how you react to certain situations and environments.
- Power of the Pause (taking a few moments to breathe deeply when triggered)
- Working with a Leadership Coach who can provide reflective 3rd party insights
- Meditation (10-15 minutes per day)
- Generative (Action-Oriented) Language Practice: Generative language is language that is action-oriented and is supported with commitments, clear requests, promises and quality agreements.
- Listening Practice: There are 4 levels of listening.
Level 1 – Listening to Protect – We React Mindset
Level 2 – Listening to Facts – We Predict Mindset
Level 3 – Listening to Relate – We Connect Mindset
Level 4 – Listening for Being – We Create Mindset
Great leaders listen at level 3 – 4 – “Listening to Connect and Create”.
When you listen to connect with others, you hear what the other person CAREs about through their complaints/objections/issues and problems. There are hidden requests in all of these.
Eg. A colleague complains that Adam is always late to meetings. The colleague may view Adam as being less committed to the team and goals, and therefore less likely to work hard to accomplish their goals. This is likely untrue, but this complaint shows that the colleague is highly committed and cares about achieving the goals.
- Ask Empowering Questions Practice – To support generating action through others, master the skill of asking others empowering questions vs telling others what to do.
Great reading for building Leadership Muscle – Unlocking Human Potential
Your Leadership Challenge:
Create one daily practice that you will commit to doing on a daily basis and watch your Leadership Transformation occur.