When you look in the mirror, what kind of leader do you see?

What kind of leader do others see?

Are you confident what you see and what other’s see match?

All of us have things we can work on, improve, a habit to stop doing, something we could do more of. Here’s a personal example that got my attention.

I was at a coach training session a few months ago. They handed out a list of the most common habits executives want to stop doing. I looked at the list. “Hmm, good list”, I thought to myself.  “I don’t see anything here I think I need to stop doing. I work hard at self-development,” I thought to myself. I took a look at the list again. “Is there really nothing on this list I would benefit from stopping,” I thought? So I reviewed the list again this time a little more self-critically.

After looking at the items again, the very first habit seemed to call out to me–Trying to Win Too Much.

The definition: the need to win at all costs and in all situations–when it matters, when it doesn’t and when it totally beside the point.

One thing I do know about myself is that I am a competitive guy. I often hear myself saying, “I like to win”. Here is an embarrassing example, (before I was into self-improvement) I was asked to leave a Disney Cruise basketball floor for trying to win a little too much! But that’s another story. So I decided to take Trying to Win Too much on.

The first hour I noticed how often in conversations with others I had to chime in and add my two cents. I noticed when discussing things, I liked to have the last word. If someone didn’t agree, I felt myself needing to explain it again this time in a better or different way so they would, “get it”. Hmm am I seeing a pattern here? More examples kept coming as evening progressed. I saw myself trying to win at:  where we were going to eat, whether to go for a walk before or after dinner, what to watch on TV. You name it, I was trying to win all over the place. Yikes! This was one I hadn’t seen before.

Now it is on my daily check list. This is an Excel spreadsheet I keep on where I track behavior I’d like to improve. On the spreadsheet it says:

I am Doing My Best to:

  1. Not win to much
  2. Show my wife I love her
  3. Walk 2 miles per day
  4. Eat and drink for my body in a way that promotes my health
  5. Generate wealth and abundance for myself and others

On the spreadsheet I mark a 1 if I in my opinion I did Do My Best To… and a zero if I didn’t. It is a simple structure that keeps what is important to me on the forefront of my mind.

The good news is I’ve improved. The focused discipline that the Daily Checklist gives me is a structure that helps me do this. The Daily Checklist consistently reminds me of what is most important to me.

I encourage you to hold up the mirror and discover what you might want to work on. Like me your likely to find a habit to stop doing.

For a list of the 20 Habits that Executives Want to Stop Doing email me and I’ll send you the list.