Welcome to the fiftieth issue of CEE News!
For the past several years, I have been practicing a ritual each workday morning. Before I open my inbox or look at my To-Do list, I feed my need to learn and teach. I do this by scouring online for what’s been written in the last 24 hours on the topics of leadership, culture, and purpose. I look for trends, case studies, breakthroughs, breakdowns – anything that keeps me updated on noteworthy progress in the field. First, I check Google Alerts, which curates a grab bag of articles from both popular and obscure media. Next, I look at the latest posts on Harvard Business Review followed by The Atlantic, The Economist, Stanford Social Innovation Review and Chief Learning Officer. If I haven’t found anything that piques my interest, I move to Forbes, Inc. and Entrepreneur. When I find the most interesting article, I share a link to it LinkedIn. With practice, this ritual takes about 15-20 minutes.
I shared this weekday ritual with someone who interviewed me for a leadership podcast recently. The interviewer asked me why I made this a priority, and I gave him these three reasons:
1) I’m filling my cup first.
My core values include learning and passing on knowledge to others. By making myself the first priority of each day, I’m checking in to make sure that I am aligned with what gives me energy and serves my purpose in a way that positively impacts others.
2) I’m taking ownership of my time.
My friend Vicki Halsey, refers to this as “disconnecting from your ding.” Opening my inbox or reading my texts or Slack messages first can lead down a rabbit hole that has nothing to do with the most important things that I need to accomplish each day.
3) I’m feeding my inner introvert.
Yes. I’m a Level 5 introvert. No. I’m not shy. I love people. I enjoy public speaking. But I recharge my batteries and process the world when I’m in a quiet place before I get lost in the sauce of daily tasks.
Rituals are a way to meet the demands of the stress in a 21st century Western reality. Organizational performance today depends heavily on culture. Culture is directly linked to leadership. To lead others effectively, we must first learn to lead ourselves. If I ask my clients to practice the ritual of self-leadership first, it follows that I start with me.