Strategic Discipline Blog
Can it really be this simple?
It’s ironic that as I started to write Select The Right People – Zappos “Are You Lucky? I was feeling good about my recovery from Acute Myeloid Leukemia and my Bone Marrow Transplant. That Tuesday I decided to go to the University of Iowa Hospital/Clinic since my leg hurt since I slipped and fell into my snow blower the week before.
Developing your leadership skills requires time spent in the kitchen. It requires actually riding the bicycle, cooking the brew, communicating, leading, establishing your presence, and developing your people is a leadership evolution process.
To say the last several weeks here in the hospital have been challenging might be an understatement. I’m sure my wife, Michelle, and my family thought I was worse than I did. Despite a lack of energy at times I still found time to work my routine and enjoy my passion for working with my clients.
Recently I rediscovered the value of routine when I purchased a new computer. If you’ve had the occasion to move to a new computer recently perhaps you will recognize the disruptive forces that occur when suddenly you are without the use of your computer for several hours or in my case more than a day as your old data is restored to your new computer.
On vacation last week my family and I visited the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola. The Blue Angels perform a practice session every Tuesday and Wednesday at the airfield. If you’ve never seen the Blue Angels perform I highly recommend it.
I’d seen them perform before when I was very young. My father was a pilot. He would take us to many air shows and I’d seen the Blue Angels as a child, although I don’t recall being as impressed or amazed at their precision and discipline as I was this time. The show brought back memories of my dad, and made me realize the discipline lessons he taught me just by his piloting the small Cessna 172 airplane he owned.
Who do you admire most? This is a question I frequently ask candidates in interviews. I urge you to consider this question in your interviewing process if you aren’t already using it.
Have you ever had a hard time establishing a new habit or routine? As noted in my last blog, Discipline Rituals – What We Resist Persists, we derive a certain amount of comfort or safety doing what we’ve always done. That’s why it’s so difficult to change. Even the most powerful commitment to change is often counter balanced by an unconscious or subliminal commitment not to change. Exposing our fears to not changing is key number four in building effective rituals.
How important is it to specify the time you are going to do something to predict accomplishment? Precision and Specificity is one of the three key to establishing effective rituals. Researchers have found that even chronic procrastinators are eight times more likely to follow through if they set a specific time to complete it. Here’s an example from Be Excellent at Anything that illustrates the importance of precision and specificity.