“The secret of epic performers is their daily rituals.” — Robin Sharma
This entry is meant to serve as more of a reminder than to educate.
As leaders, we have agreed to cease identifying at the level of individual. We now recognize ourselves at the level of organization — which breeds feelings of empowerment on certain days, and confinement on other occasions.
The difference is who we are on that particular day. Whether a team member receives our undivided attention or gets rolled down the proverbial hill of delegation, almost always has to do with our what state we’re in at the time.
Too many consecutive days in a distracted or low-energy state, and our team’s trust begins to diminish. The impact of us failing to take care of ourselves stretches far greater than simply experiencing a bad mood — the ripple effect runs deep.
Consider a new hire’s orientation: should we fail to deliver our very best, their experience of us is shaped and colored forever; calling into question the decision to sign their offer letter.
We cannot discount just how critical each interaction is. It either adds value, or takes it away.
And what’s at the source of appreciation or depreciation?
Our state and how we show up that day.
Below are some simple and flat takeaways that once implemented consistently, can yield some of your greatest returns in the areas business management and team leadership.
And bear with me on this list, as it will be easy to perceive as venturing onto tangents unrelated to business.
But trust me, I there’s no way I could get away with running a multi-million dollar business for even a week if I didn’t perform these daily practices.
1. Mind Your Energy Intake
“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.” — Albert Einstein
As a health enthusiast with a heavy background in fitness, I can share with you first hand the benefits of distinguishing looking good from feeling good.
As a leader, your most important resource is energy. Without it, you get nothing done and make zero impact on people. How you feel far outweighs how you look. While efforts to maintain a professional appearance and respectable physique are welcomed, we’ve seen people get away with far less simply because they had the energy to keep going.
We get our energy primarily from what we put in our bodies. So while we can make all the sacrifices in the world to attend every seminar, read every book and talk to every coach, it’s rendered useless if we fail to supply our body with what it craves the most.
I’m not going to preach about nutrition (although, I could). Instead, I’m going to share with you some baseline rules that once I implemented in my day-to-day, saw my energy levels skyrocket (and stay put).
- Fruits and vegetables consist mostly of water (roughly 70%). They will keep you hydrated far better than failing to chug a gallon of water. When you eat these foods consistently throughout your day, you get to drink water like a normal person and not feel bad about it — when you’re actually thirsty.
- Our inability to digest is one of the biggest factors in us feeling tired. Certain foods should not be eaten together, such as proteins and carbs in the same sitting.
- Fruit is a freaking miracle food. Unlike other foods, it’s your friend at any point during the day. However, it should be eaten by itself for digestive purposes. Try to see if you can make it to lunchtime on just fruit — your body will thank you.
- Dairy isn’t doing you any favors. Let go of it and in turn, relinquish your sluggishness.
2. Find Some Morning Solitude
“In solitude, the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon on itself.” — Laurence Sterne
You’ve probably read hundreds of articles on morning routines and this one is no different — you’re most in tune with your surroundings in the early hours of the morning.
However, the fact that we are most creative in the morning doesn’t stand on its own volition — we have to create an environment that supports it.
For this reason, it’s important that we capitalize on our peak brain elasticity and find a quiet area in which we can get present with our own thoughts. If this place can be within the realm of nature, even better.
I myself, spend most of my mornings walking the causeway that stretches over West Florida’s inter-coastal. I chose to live by the beach for enjoyment purposes, completely unaware of the impact it would have on my psyche.
At 5am, I’m alone in the dark. The vastness of the water and the exuberance of the stars places my entrepreneurial issues neatly into perspective, allowing me to address them with a far greater degree of objectivity.
Some folks refer to this as a gratitude session, but I found the deliberate practice of gratitude felt inauthentic. I wanted gratitude to consume me like love or joy did — out of nowhere.
However, feelings of gratitude absolutely did ensue when I took the action necessary to create a clear head space in relation to my business, effectively transforming my zeal for tackling important issues.
I understand that not everyone lives by the water but that’s just one example of what works for me. Whether it was living in the deserts of Arizona or the mountains of Tennessee, there was always a natural presence I could find peace within.
Being a great leader involves dealing with problems in a non-emotional way. The easiest way to do that is by looking at them through a different lens.
3. Get Your Body Moving
“Nothing will work unless you do.” — John Wooden
One way to change your state is to cause a change in your physiology. Food does this, shifting from a state of hunger to satiation in a matter of minutes. So do cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol.
But perhaps the most empowering way is by form of exercise. I realize this may be beating a dead horse but hear me out for a minute: if you’ve always viewed exercise as something you “should” or “have to” do, your relationship with with it is probably incomplete.
Exercise is something you choose to do when you want to leave a lasting impression on your state of being. The change you experience within your body is reflected in your mood, as well as the way in which you process the energy that goes in out of your body.
The rush of circulation you get from vigorous movement is a metaphor for your business — you either get moving or you stand still. To get your business moving, YOU have to be moving. The view you see while you’re stagnant takes on a far different perspective once you’ve released a cascade endorphins.
Running is fine. Swimming is excellent. And weight-lifting is extremely beneficial within perceived limits. But whatever it is —just do something.
Because as mentioned before, you’re not doing this just for you anymore. Your team’s livelihood is at stake during the course of a workout.
If you don’t work your body hard enough to produce the lasting energy you need to be your best for them, they’re sold short.
4. Read, Read, Read
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” — Joseph Addison
Words have the power to pierce the unconscious mind. Given this understanding, what we feed our minds with throughout the day becomes our eventual output.
Our eventual output is the input of our team. The correlation here is simple, but not always easy.
There’s a lot of filtering that has to go on to remain positive in any given situation. It takes extreme discipline for the leader to be selective in where he lends his ear and where he pays his mind.
If we don’t feed the mind, the mind will look to eat. And it won’t eat sensibly at that point. It will eat like we eat when we become starving — whatever we can get our hands on.
Being deliberate about reading something of value, even a few quick articles a day on Medium, results in a dual-investment — something for yourself, and something for your team.
The more you view the act of you reading as an investment in your team, the smoother and more fluid this process becomes.
5. Write It Down
“You can make anything by writing.” — C.S. Lewis
No matter what business you’re in, every day you’re learning. Yes, history sometimes may repeat itself but there’s no way to truly know what a new day will bring.
For this reason, we want to be cognizant of the numerous lessons that are scattered about a given day — and how futile our conscious mind is at storing them.
As the late Jim Rohn says, “Don’t trust your memory.”
And as E.L. Doctorow explains,
“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”
Writing down a lesson or takeaway from each workday causes your growth as a leader. It is your learning that will shape and influence the contribution your team makes to your organization — and your learning must be reinforced to this to sustain.
When you write it down, it becomes something of its own. It is created by you, for you and others’ betterment. Once it’s written and learned, it’s moved from the conscious to the unconscious mind — which will be moved back to the conscious mind at the next most opportune time by default.
Don’t gloss over this powerful daily practice and take for granted the immediate impact of what you write down can have on your business.