Returning to a triad also meant returning to the daily boxes. To be honest, I slowly started neglecting doing them after following the course last year. We had an interesting discussion this week in our triad call about when we should do the daily boxes and the possible meaning of when we do them. To find out more about our daily boxes conversation, you will have to read on.
Before jumping into our triad conversation, let me quickly introduce the daily boxes tool for those of you that may not know much about them. The daily boxes (see Figure 1) are a simple tool introduced to the participants of the Tribal Leadership Intensive course. It looks deceptively simple, the daily boxes are a powerful tool to learn about yourself.
At the start of the Tribal Leadership Intensive course, participants begin using the daily boxes using the EARN because every day, leaders must earn their leadership. The acronym stands for:
- Exercise: Leaders that are out of shape neglect an important part of a healthy lifestyle. How do you take care of your body?
- Attitude: Leaders have an attitude that reflects their leadership abilities. Did your overall attitude during the day reflect your leadership?
- Rejuvenation: Everyone needs to play at some point. Did you take time to do things during the day that helped reinvigorate or reenergize yourself?
- Nutrition: Doing all of the above means nothing if you are not also making sure you are eating in a healthy way. How did you fuel your body today?
Participants commit to score themselves in each category once a day with a score of one (lowest) to five (best). By the end of the Tribal Leadership Intensive class, the acronym changes to LEARNS because a strong leader learns something every day. The new acronym stands for:
- Leadership: Leaders lead others every day. Aside from the attitude, there are actions which leaders take every day that reflect on their leadership abilities. How positive was your leadership today?
- Exercise: Same as above
- Attitude: Same as above
- Rejuvenation: Same as above.
- Nutrition: Same as above.
- Support: Leaders support their tribes through their actions and words.Â How supportive a leader were you today?
The obvious question when you start out is what does a “one” rating mean and what does a “five” rating mean? The answers are subjective and your interpretations of the letters may also differ from the interpretations I gave you. This makes using the daily boxes more challenging initially but this is normal and part of the process.
When I originally followed the intensive class, I created a scale for each letter but I came to realize this made me feel I was using in a forced and unauthentic way. I came to learn that to make good use of the daily boxes, you need to reflect on what each of these mean to you.
In my last blog post, I spoke about two questions that are very present in my mind since last year:
- Who are you?
- Who do you want to be?
How you approach the daily boxes can help you answer either of those questions. When you start using the tool, you may find it easier to do your daily boxes at the end of each day. This provides you with a daily retrospective on yourself and my feeling is using the boxes this way helps you discover who you are.
The biggest challenge initially using the boxes this way is figuring out how to rate yourself. Depending on your personality type, this can easily turn into some form of performance meter. I feel that I fell into that trap myself by setting up my scale. I originally used the tool in a way to drive behavioral changes, which may be good but may also not feel authentic.
If you are unsure of how to use the daily boxes, I suggest you start by scoring yourself from the gut every evening for a few days or weeks. During this time, regularly examine why you rated yourself differently on the different letters from one day to the next. By understanding these differences you will get a better handle on what makes you tick and you can then decide what you want to do to improve your scores.
During our triad talk this week, we wondered aloud what would happen if we scored ourselves before our day began. We concluded that by scoring ourselves in advance, we would be declaring who we want to be as individuals. By declaring your intent ahead of time, it could potentially encourage you to reflect on your actions and behaviors throughout the day and question if you are meeting what you set out to be.
One of the positives of sharing your daily boxes with your triad is the accountability it brings to doing your daily boxes. Personally, what made it easy for me to stop doing my daily boxes after the Tribal Leadership Intensive class was the absence of accountability.
Sharing your daily scores also enables the other members of your triad to better support you. When looking at your scores, another triad member may notice you are scoring low in certain categories and may ask you about it and offer you some practical advice. Please keep in mind you are also responsible for providing the same support level and accountability checks to the other members of your triad.
Another interesting thing we learned in the last week was that one of the triads in the approval stage created a Google spreadsheet where multiple triads can share their daily boxes. This tool transforms many triads into a much larger tribe which provides an even greater level of accountability and support to the entire tribe.
I wrote about the different letters proposed by the Tribal Leadership Intensive class (EARN and LEARNS) but what should you do if you have something more important to focus on? The daily boxes are an extensible tool which easily allows you to add whatever you want to put your focus on.
In our Triad, we added another P for “Passion”. Did we live our life passionately today? Others triads added letters such as EO for “Early On Time” to keep track of how punctual they are for meetings during the day. You can add letters for whatever you feel the need to keep an eye on yourself.
The daily boxes are a pretty straightforward tool you can use in different ways but remember the tool will be as useful to you as the information you enter in it. If you lie to yourself and just put numbers so you have them there, you will get no value from the tool.
When you start using the tool, you may find it awkward because it is so subjective. You may believe you are performing for a score or find the tool useless at first. My recommendation is to keep doing them and take time to reflect on the meaning of the letters for you. Who do you want to be? This tool can help you design your future, one day at a time.
If you are using the daily boxes or are new to using them and need some form of support, please feel free to contact me using this form.