By Michael Holland –

Having worked with hundreds and hundreds of leaders, I find so many lack focus on working to become effective at leading well.

The key is micro-behaviors.  Those little things that we do that have longer term ripple impacts.  The gap for most leaders comes from not intentionally creating habits that enable healthy micro-behaviors to form.

One habit that will absolutely help is what I call the 12 minute #Leadwell Daily Ritual.

The #Leadwell Daily Ritual

Choose a consistent time of the day for your #Leadwell Daily Ritual.  This will be time that is blocked out specifically for you and will not be scheduled for anything else.

While the morning might be to first place you look to lock in this time, finding a time in the middle or end of the day might prove more fruitful because it will be new to your habit inducing brain.  Starting at 12:12 might be a good spot.

Note for overbooked leaders: You may need to come to work 12 minutes earlier to initiate this habit if you’re constantly double booked calendar is out of control

Limit your #Leadwell Daily Ritual to 12 minutes.  Use a timer on your smart phone and do not go longer than 12 minutes.  This will be tough at first but with daily practice you will be able to do it.

During your #Leadwell Daily Ritual, spend time on the following.


What is my vision for my team/department for the next 24 hours, for the coming 5 to 10 business days and for the coming 6 months.

This is the time you reflect on the progress being made each day towards the vision and any course corrections that may be needed.  Thinking about the vision every day for a few moments will focus your ever working brain to solve future needs.


Capture a few notes regarding how you are leading, how the team is progressing, successes from the prior 24 hours, emotions, desires, the weather, what you had to eat, how you exercised.

There is no formula.  Just learn to write about what’s going on.


Go down a list of your employees – those who report directly to you – and think for a few seconds on each one.

What do they have going on, what’s the flow of their next 24 hours/next 5 days, what success/challenge did they have in the last 24 hours.


What are the 2 or 3 things that you must get completed in the next 24 hours.  These are specific tasks that need to be completed and not large projects.

This well researched productivity hack creates the habit of focusing your time and energy on those things that will move you and your team forward.

In my opinion, the best time of the day to do your #Leadwell Daily Ritual is at the end of the day which arguably may be the hardest time of the day to lock in.  Ramping down your work day through a process that brings on a convergence of thoughts about your work, allows your ever busy brain to massage the information and help to sort out how your leadership behaviors can best impact those around you.

Coaching Thoughts – For You and Your Peers

  • What time of the day would be hardest for you to implement the #Leadwell Daily Ritual?  Why?
  • What order would you place the four activities?  Grab a peer leader and discuss your order as compared to theirs.
  • Do you agree with the 12 minute time frame?  Would you want it to be less? More?  Why?