I am reaching the end of week 2 of my Tribal Leadership Intensive One class. This week featured my first weekly meeting with my triad, two really great people! The theme of the week was to take time to stop and take notice. To learn the different things I noticed this week, please read on!
As part of our homework this week, we needed to take ten minutes a day to stop and notice our thought patterns. I did it a couple of times in the office cafeteria and I also did it when I took my kids to their swimming lessons. In bullet form, here is what I noticed:
- In the cafeteria, I would analyze the body language of the people around me. Did they seem happy or preoccupied? Are they paying attention to the person talking to them?
- The swimming pool is not the best place for this exercise! I noticed the parents: Are they paying attention to their kids in the pool? Are they cheering their kids on? Are they showing signs of pride? It also noticed the instructors: “She’s cute isn’t she… She has great legs… Oh wait, maybe I should not be thinking this… Stop… Stop… Look away Steffan, look away!”
I also tried to think about which thoughts fed my mind during the day. I realized I was spending too much time analyzing bad situations and running scenarios in my head to figure out how to deal with them. Somehow, the twenty possible alternatives I analyzed in my mind never seem to happen in real life! At well, I often joke that all those simulations prepare me for the unexpected!
I also realized the importance of writing like this in my life. For different reasons, I stopped writing for the longest time but when I do this, it helps me process my thoughts and turn them into something productive. The last two weeks, including this blog entry I probably wrote between 4000 and 5000 words for my web site.
Over the weekend, I discussed topics I was blogging about with my wife. When I told her about my last blog entry which discusses how I turned my strategy into an execution plan, she looked at me with a smile in her loving eyes and said: “Did you REALLY do that? GEEK!” I tried to explain to her the rationale behind my thinking: “I am trying to help others sweetie, I thought this could be useful to people!” To which she replied gleefully: “You are still a geek! but you are my geek!” The truth is, I decided a long time ago to accept my “geekhood” for what it is and I promise to keep sharing!
This writing important to me because I discovered that it rejuvenates me and it helps me fill part of the creative void I feel in my professional life right now. In my EARN box, my attitude score started to rise when I started writing again because of this course.
Last week, we learned about pitfalls in the class. I realized that I identified some of my pitfalls already when I presented my goal and challenges in an earlier post. When I was thinking through my strategy, instead of pitfalls, I considered them as risks and challenges in my head.
I also noticed this week that I was maybe looking at my EARN scores the wrong way. I realized the table we have for scores is subjective and I strongly believe you sometimes need to customize tools so they fit you better. I realized during our triad call the EARN scores meant different things to each of us.
In the last class on Tuesday night, someone mentioned they had a physical injury and could not work out right now, so they always scored low on exercise. Personally, I do 30 minutes on an exercise bike on Monday and Friday nights and I play hockey on Sunday nights. Most other nights are rest nights for my body to recuperate, do my Tribal Leadership homework and carry out my strategy!
We decided that we needed to document our personal scales to have a consistent way to score ourselves. I decided to share mine here as an example. Keep in mind, these are just a starting point and I will refine them.
For Exercise, my scale looks like this:
- 5 – Did my hockey or bike night. Exercised on my Bowflex or worked outside around the house (mowing lawn, raking leaves, anything physical)
- 4 - Took a walk with the family. Took the stairs instead of the elevators at work.
- 3 - Took the elevators all day at work instead of stairs
- 2 - Intentionally skipped out on my bike night out of laziness
- 1 - Did nothing at all I could call exercise
For Attitude, my scale looks like this:
- 5 - Scream free day with my kids (3 and 6, they can be a challenge!)
- 4 - Positive and helpful to others at work
- 3 - Let work related negativity affect my thinking or not so scream free day with my kids
- 2 - Spent too much time in a stage 2 mindset during the day.
- 1 - Stay out of my way! This is not a good day!
For Rejuvenation, my scale looks like this:
- 5 - Spent some quality time with my kids or spouse
- 4 - Spent some time doing something just for myself or got more than 6h sleep.
- 3 - I was a vegetable watching TV shows of no real interest
- 2 - Did not spend much quality time with my kids or spouse.
- 1 - Did work related stuff and got no rejuvenation
For Nutrition, my scale looks like this:
- 5 - Followed my eating plan for the day and it scored 99% or higher
- 4 - Cheated on my eating plan or had too much alcohol
- 3 - Did not have an eating plan and but ate sensibly
- 2 - Did not prepare a daily meal plan and ate horrendously
- 1 - I did not care
To clarify my Nutrition scale, I follow a high protein diet at www.physiquetransformation.com which is what allows me to track a score for my day and makes it measurable.
I just noticed this blog entry took me about 90 minutes to write and edit tonight. One of my entries from last week took me 3 hours to write and another 2 hours to edit after. I strongly believe this is an interesting course and working with my Triad will make me more accountable and will also provide help hand for pieces of the class we are not clear on. I look forward to learning more about Robbin and Ray and getting a good understanding of how I can support them better so they can reach their goals.