by Michael Holland    

So much of what we do every day is executed via muscle memory.  Walking to a meeting is so simple that we don’t even think about the physics of how our body works. We can unthinkingly create a fluid motion that moves the mass of our weight away from a desk, down a hallway, and into a conference room where we somehow navigate misaligned chairs to drop ever-so-gracefully into our chair of choice.  Our brain has memorized all these movements to orchestrate the most efficient motion, allowing us to free up brain activity for more important tasks.

Memorized leadership behaviors can be wonderful time-savers and can prepare us to lead gracefully.  Here are 4 to consder.

  • Watch the Replay – Rewinding the day’s mental video of interactions with employees, evaluating the impacts of conversations and interactions (as all great reality TV watchers can do).
  • Lead Forward – Investing 37 minutes at the end of each week to look forward over the next week, 4 weeks, and 4 months to calibrate the trajectory of the team, adjusting their courses of action over those time periods just enough to lead the team forward.
  • Dial Up or Down – Subconsciously adjusting the projected aura to dial down – or dial up – certain traits of your natural communications style. This allows you to create the ideal environment for an interaction, whether it’s a “pump you up” coaching moment or a “you’ve crossed the line in the sand” coaching moment.
  • Know the 2 – Knowing at any given moment the 2 skills you desire each employee to be strengthening.

Leadership muscle memory comes from practice and effort.  Great leaders learn to play well because they practice well.

Coaching Thoughts – For You and Your Peers

  • Why do you think building muscle memory for leadership is so important?
  • Have you ever been in a leadership situation that caught you off guard? How would the leadership behaviors listed in this Leadership Learning Moment have helped you then?