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Devoted Leaders Engage in These 5 Practices Every Day




 

What I love most about working with brilliant leaders is how eager they are to learn something new and improve.  This is a very different world than the one we lived in as recently as five years ago. The tools of today give us the chance to live and lead better.

 

The trick is to know that with each new tool and strategy there are 100 distractions attached to it.  In order to play and work in this new world our focus and attention needs to be more tuned than ever before.

 

It’s not cool to talk about “killing it” anymore. It’s cool to talk about living well, being curious and sharing something new we learned about what we’re building.

 

We’ve learned we need to make our time richer.  In order to do so we need to chart a course of action and will help us navigate disruption with calm confidence and care.

 

These are the daily practices of devoted leaders:

 

  1. Make sleep a priority.

We now understand that our genes, our age and our food are a few of the elements that determine how we sleep.  Learn what is affecting you and research how to create success with sleep.  I found what I needed when I dove into data from Johns Hopkins University and listened to podcasters like Tim Ferris and Andrew Huberman of Huberman Labs.  I sleep very well now and loved being able to solve that on my own with sources that are a click away.

 

2. Have a morning routine.

How you start your day matters.  In my first book, Think. Drink. Eat. Move,; 4 Steps to YES, I shared how I developed a morning routine to reflect how I wanted to feel all day. I start with prayer, meditation, lots of water, gratitude and a vision of what success looks like. Because this is what’s important to me, I focus on new tools to improve how I start my day.  My favorite prayer apps are Amen (from the Augustine Institute) and Hallow. My favorite meditation app is Insight Timer where I listen to many recordings including those from Chelsea Pottinger.  Listening to these as well as keeping a journal have grounded me and made it easier to focus.

 

3. Choose the right sources to start your day.

Leaders learn so they can add to every encounter they have with the people they lead.  The tools of today have changed the way we get information.  A year ago, I moved from paper delivery to receiving my news through certain morning emails.  I would never have done this but was forced to do this because of a move, and it’s been a good thing.  These sources I’ve curated improve the information I bring to my clients in financial services, healthcare and law. My favorites (delivered daily, weekly monthly) are Exec-Sum – Liquidity (daily), Young Money (Jack Raines – Monthly), Forbes Daily, Wall Street Journal (The 10 -Point) and The Free Press.

 

4. Reflect before and after all meetings.

While this may not be possible in every situation it’s an important goal to have. In five to ten minutes, you can take a moment to note one to three things that went well in a meeting you had.  I say one to three because we can all note one.  When you reflect on that you change the way you feel about the value of the time you made to meet with someone.  This practice before a meeting helps you start a meeting with energy and curiosity and extend deeper respect to the person on the other end.  Your good choice will produce positive energy. As a result, you may uncover something you didn’t expect from the collaboration.

 

5. Be a student of history and success.

Most of what we need to know about how to handle disruption and distraction has already been experienced by leaders in the past.  The newest sources I’ve added to my repertoire provide me with optimism and spark ideas.  Downloading leadership books on Audible and listening to them while exercising and traveling is truly rewarding and expand your capacity to think.  At this moment, I’m listening to "Winning" by Jack Welch. I’m reminded that so many leadership practices are evergreen including, ask great questions and celebrate your people.

 

To learn deeply about the history of some of the most famous companies in the world I listen to Acquired. The hosts Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal go off on their own to learn everything they can about the biggest IPO’s and acquisitions of all time. Then they come together to have an in-depth conversation about it.  My favorite so far was the Hermes episode.  This 187-year-old company has a story of based in a deep understanding of their brand and what is important to them.

 

Data is beginning to show that these practices increase self-awareness, make self-care the norm and build physical and mental stamina.

 

What a gift to increase faith in yourself and learn to stay calm and devoted to the big thing you’re getting done in the world.

 

It’s all much simpler than we’ve made it.

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