There's no shortage of jokes or complaints about how horrible meetings can be. They're boring. They're pointless. They're a waste of time. Leaders know better. Leaders know that meetings are essential for excellence. Leaders know that meetings are the ultimate lever, capable of producing exponential results. Tom Peters says, "The idea of using "meeting" and "excellence" in the same sentence may strike you as absurd. But, again, if meetings are your principal leadership stage, then they must either be the platform for the aspiration and expression of Excellence or you are not serious about Excellence. A meeting for the leader is pure, unadulterated theater." For your leadership "theater" to be successful, there are several "performances" you'll need to master and add to your portfolio. Each is essential to your team's continued alignment and effectiveness.
As a leader, one of the most important benefits we can give our teams is to be organized and intentional. It's also one of the best feelings we can give ourselves. After coaching dozens of leaders, I'm convinced the best place to start is with our time. Once we master it, we can achieve anything. And without having it under control, little feels possible. As Annie Dillard says, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." Based on an exercise I learned from Michael Hyatt, the key is to design a template for your week. Here are the steps to create one for your life.
"Leadership" is a verb. It is a mindset, a choice to accept responsibility, empower others, and make a difference. It is available to any of us, regardless of our age, education level, title, or any other characteristic. Once we choose leadership, we must live it. For that, we need a system. I call it the Daily March. This practice is particularly important for leaders.
A little over five years ago, I started writing here. Sometimes, I've written consistently. Mostly not. It's really hard to write when life is hard, and the last few years have been hard. (The "fall asleep at 7pm with your shoes on and contacts in" kind of hard.) Recently, I took some time to think about whether I wanted to keep writing. And if so, why. I had some interesting thought conversations with myself (and a few others), and I decided that I did. More than anything, I decided that there was a group of people I wanted to support and serve. They're the folks I work alongside each day and trade stories with on weekly accountability calls. They're the ones struggling with growing businesses and expanding teams. They're the ones guiding their communities during difficult times. They're the ones with a vision for a better future, overwhelmed with the new challenges each day brings.
In another interview edition of the podcast, you'll hear about the habits Meron Bareket uses to build a system of inspiration, for himself and his audience. Listen in and you'll learn who inspired him and why he decided to build a business that inspired others, how he uses affirmations and a specific morning routine to get a good start each day, how he plans his days in pomodoros, why he manages his inputs precisely, and how he uses a 'commander's intent' mindset to ensure success.
For today's profile, we have another special episode of the podcast. I'm honored to introduce you to someone who's been a mentor to me for more than a decade. More than anything, he taught me how to consistently study and apply leadership principles to my own life. Today, Ron Kitchens is the CEO of Southwest Michigan First, a team regularly recognized for their excellence in the workplace. In this in-depth interview, Ron shares his personal leadership philosophy and the unique ways he applies it to the workplace. From rugby scrums to planned cheating, there are plenty of useful surprises that you can apply to your own organization.