The first few minutes of anything, are so critical.

They can trigger a chain of thinking and feeling that can keep you going or make you stop.  Improve your results or hold them back.

Spring blogs will continue to include the topic of self-leadership in some shape or form – it has an impact on everything we do.

It could be the tough minutes before you hit your flow – when beginning a run, or bike ride. Warming up and keeping going is critical in so many ways.

It could be the clunky first words you type when writing a talk or preparing a team meeting. Getting your thoughts down into a plan, something tangible.

It could be meeting a stakeholder or direct report, and starting the rapport build from the handshake or kiss – through the “How was your journey?” and on into the main event.

Sometimes you’ll hit your stride instantly, or that’s how it feels. Other times you’ll not.

The important point here is notice it.

Be aware of what’s working for you. Are you regularly considering your performance against what you want – ‘in the moment?’

Develop the ability to adapt whilst you’re in mid-flow. It takes practice.  Some conscious and deliberate training. Some fluid, quirky, unconscious techniques. Generally, a mix of both.

Steven Pressfield who wrote the War of Art (not to be confused with the Art of War) recognises the importance of “just getting started.”

Doing something, anything, and trusting that the rest will flow. Pressfield sums it up brilliantly, when he says:

“The paradox seems to be, as Socrates demonstrated long ago, that the truly free individual is free only to the extent of his own self-mastery.  While those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them.” [Our addition: In all the many forms those masters might take]

The trick is knowing what works for you and what doesn’t, so that you can best lead yourself. This, of course, changes over time.

What have you consciously noticed or changed today that you believe improved your:

  • impact on others?
  • delivery of results?
  • state of mind?