There are a lot of great leadership lessons to be drawn from the military, and from athletics. Here’s one that’s true in both of those arenas that I have to remind myself of daily: I become a leader when nothing’s going on; I prove I’m a leader when the crisis hits.
The ordinary days are when we develop our habits and train our skills. In his seminars and books John Maxwell often says, “The secret of success is in your daily schedule.” By that he means that what you habitually do, every day, determines what you become as a leader.
Here’s how your calendar can help you: it can reinforce daily habits. It can provide the framework to develop discipline. It can ensure you don’t forget things. And it can prompt you to take time for your own development. So if you don’t already use one, you should start. I’ll write later about how I use mine.
Here’s the bottom line: train as you’ll fight; train the way you’ll actually play the game. Use those ordinary days to develop and reinforce the habits of coaching, communication, planning and vision-setting that you’ll need on the bad days.