Self-leadership requires self-evaluation. Leaders must be able to end their day, look back, and know with certainty whether or not this was a good leadership day.
That means having a "to do" list that reflects priorities worth pursuing. It means knowing exactly what comprises an effective leadership day; it means understanding the elements that work together to make any day a fantastic day of leadership.
But because leaders have often been trained to "think big," all too often they can look at their day and conclude that, unless there was a major accomplishment, a significant achievement, or a larger-than-life "win," it might not have been a particularly impactful day of leadership.
In fact, while achieving a significant accomplishment is naturally worth celebrating, so too are five just as important leadership "to do" list items that often fly just beneath the radar…
1. Today, I will solve a problem. The problem doesn't have to be on the scale of "ending world hunger." But today if you spot a problem of any size, and you solve it, that contributes to a good day.
2. Today, I will make progress towards a goal. If you can demonstrate that you made some sort of tangible progress towards achieving one of your goals, you've helped to make this a good day.
3. Today, I will help someone out. When you spot a teammate struggling with a challenge, and you come alongside and provide practical support, once again you've made this day a pretty good day.
4. Today, I will clarify direction. As a leader, you should be able to "smell" mission drift when it happens. If you help to steer the team back on course today, that makes it a good day.
5. Today, I will reinforce a core value. Values matter. And when your team sees you model one of your team values, the entire team wins.
A wise friend of mine used to coach me in leadership by saying, "Leadership isn't always about hitting grand slams. Sometimes it's about 'small ball.' Leadership is often just about trying to get on base.