The Rehab of Leadership Practice

A friend and I were kibitzing recently about physical therapy and a great lesson about leadership development emerged. He ask his therapist, if while strengthening his shoulder and knee, there was anything he could do to tighten up that well-known “middle-aged spread,” with which so many of us are too familiar. To his surprise, he was told something other than a thousand crunches twice a day, for which we all know, there is no time or energy.

Rather, the answer was to keep posture straight and the abdominal muscles tense while working the other parts of the body. This would help, he was assured. BTW, This is advice I have also heard many fitness coaches provide their clients for all kinds of strength training. If you work out, you have no doubt heard it as well.

Then it hit us about leadership. Sometimes it might feel as if you have to add a couple hours to your day to work specifically on your leadership abilities (your thousand leadership crunches). Actually, what you really need to do is engage your leadership muscles while doing your other work. Here is what I mean.

In your next numbers review or status update, make it a point to recognize people for some meaningful work they have done. That is leadership. Engage them in a conversation that inspires them to bring forth some new ideas they have been pondering. That too is leadership. So is making sure you connect the tough work you are asking them to do to a vision or larger purpose. There are an endless number of ways you can strengthen your leadership muscles (and skills) during your day. Decide to do it and make yourself reminders to follow through.

Who knew that almost every meeting, conversation or email could be a small part of leadership training camp. Never let “no time” be an excuse again for not continuing to grow as a leader.

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