It’s summer! The middle of May through the middle of August is at least “emotional summer,” so it’s summer. And I hope you have a great one.
I want you to do a few things to sharpen yourself as a leader this summer. Fear not. Nothing too strenuous. In fact, I think you’ll enjoy it. Here we go.
1. Choose one leadership book and read it thoroughly. I understand that you may want to read more than one, but I also know you have all that great new thriller and beach reading to get through. So I’m asking for only one good leadership book. I’ll do it with you. Mine this summer is Ray Dalio’s Principles.
2. Commit to 10 hours of leadership video. With YouTube and TED, we have treasures at our fingertips. Watch 10 hours over the summer and on themes you aren’t expert or strong in. Perhaps you’ll watch a TED talk on body language or the brain science of motivation. Perhaps you’ll watch a YouTube video of a Navy Seal talking about building a team or W. Edwards Deming talking about management. You choose, but make sure you are bolstering weakness rather than reinforcing strengths.
3. Take two people who know you but don’t work for you to lunch, and ask them to tell you what you do well as a leader and what you could improve. Now, these people have to be straight shooters. They have to be secure, confident, wise, and close enough to your life and leadership to speak knowledgeably about you. Tell them to fire away. And don’t forget to pick up the tab!
4. Do something that scares you this summer. Scared of heights? Do a tandem jump out of a plane. Scared of water? Take a scuba diving or snorkeling course. Afraid of snakes? Go to a zoo or somewhere local where they will let you handle one. Do something that scares you this summer.
5. Complete a physical challenge this summer. You name it. You prepare for it. You complete it. You might climb a local mountain or hike a longer distance than you ever have before. You might finally get up on those water skis or improve your bench press by twenty pounds. Your challenge could be simply working out every weekday from the middle of May through the middle of August. You name it. You prepare for it. You complete it.
That’s it. Oh, one more thing. Have an accountability partner—someone you tell about these five things and who holds you accountable to do them.
I’m going to do all these things and I’ll tell you about them at the end of the summer.
Go have fun and grow as a leader!