You can’t lead others if you can’t lead yourself. Here are a baker’s dozen of things to master if you want to lead yourself well and get on the road to becoming the best leader you can be.
Master your smartphone. Your smartphone is the Swiss Army Knife of the Digital Age. There are calendars, reminders, and apps that will help you be more productive.
Master checklists. Checklists will help you do routine things routinely so they don’t get in the way of accomplishing big things. Checklists are usually situational. You may have one for the start of the day and the week and one for the end. Use them for special situations like going on vacation and returning to work. Checklists are easy to create, use, and modify and they pay off big time.
Master scorecards. Keep score on how you’re doing. Sam Walton used a “beat yesterday” book when he started his first WalMart in Rogers, AR. He was still keeping those books when he died.
Master routine meetings. They set the cadence for your team and make sure things are on track. Consider daily stand-up meetings with the team. Have weekly one-on-ones with every team member.
Master incremental improvement. Make a little progress every day.
Master the art of concentration. If you want to do significant work on important projects, you need large blocks of uninterrupted time.
Master the off button. When you need to concentrate, block out interruptions. Turn off your phone and your email. Sometimes, the “off button” is a door you can close or a place you can hide while you work.
Master the art of capturing ideas. If you don’t they will flit away like butterflies on the wind.
Master the reading habit. Leaders are readers, plain and simple. Read.
Master the art of review and reflection. Take time every day and every week to assess your performance and your progress and your ideas.
Master the art of letting go. Take time off from work for other things. Let go of control when you don’t need it. Most of the time you don’t.
Master the art of planning. You need just enough. Too little and you set yourself adrift. Too much and you sacrifice agility for conformity.
Master the art of relationships. Cultivate your relationships with friends and loved ones. In the end they will matter more than accomplishments.
Boss’s Bottom Line
In the end you must master the little things to make the big things happen.
The 347 tips in my ebook can help you Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time.