Got Rhythm?

| | Personal Leadership
Got Rhythm?

Today’s guest post is from Beth Armknecht Miller, author of the recently released book, Are You Talent Obsessed? Unlocking the secrets to a workplace team of raving high performers. She offers some great advice and a terrific process here for becoming a high performer.

Definition of Rhythm: Any sequence of regularly recurring functions or events

So why is rhythm so important to developing yourself as a leader?

Because rhythm provides you with flow and helps you to build momentum in developing both personally and professionally. It’s also important to developing yourself as a leader.

As a leader it is your job to develop those around you and at the same time take ownership for your own development. So often leaders neglect taking time to develop themselves and focus only on developing others, yet this is a huge mistake.

All of us have room for learning and growth, and as a leader you need to model the behavior you are looking for from others, which includes personal development.

So how can you as a leader take on the goal of developing yourself?

The most systematic way of self-development is through the use of development rhythms. tweet this

Development rhythms start with a daily routine, which leads into weekly and monthly routines.

The daily rhythm consists of journaling or recording, depending on your individual preference. Ask yourself a set of questions at the end of each day that helps you to reflect on your progress, challenges, successes, fears etc. These questions will focus on learning through self- reflection. And, they often focus on a behavior, personal preference or skill that has been identified as a leverage point for your success.

Here are some questions my coaching clients have used in the past to help them reflect on their day:

  1. What one thing did I do today that I am proud of?
  2. What one thing did I do today that I regret? And, how would I do it differently?
  3. Who on my team did I help to move their “needle”? And, how did I know it was moved?
  4. What decision did I make that I am highly confident in? And, what would I do differently to make me feel 100% confident in a future decision?
  5. What was I doing when I felt I was in my personal rhythm?
  6. Who did I ask for feedback from and what am I going to do with the feedback?

After a week you will have five sets of answers, which you can then use in planning your weekly development time. I have found that when people start this process, the weekly review is probably the hardest part of the development rhythms. When they start this weekly review they often struggle but after several weeks, the process becomes easier and shorter.

Set aside an hour during the first few weeks and review your questions and answers over the past five days. After several weeks it will only take you about thirty minutes.

During your review, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are there questions I need to change, eliminate, or add that will provide you with additional information in the next week?
  2. What did I learn about myself that needs further adjustment?
  3. How can I make adjustments and what additional resources would be helpful?
  4. What development areas can my manager or organization provide assistance to me so I can be more successful?
  5. What value did I provide the organization over the last week?

Want to increase the value of this exercise?  Schedule a monthly conversation with your manager or coach.  If you don’t have either, consider enlisting an accountability partner who is committed to support you in your growth.  Here are topics to guide your discussion.

  • The key value(s) you delivered over the past month
  • The areas you have been successful in improving
  • The areas you still are working on, and your next steps
  • The resources you need from him/her to continue your development and growth

These monthly conversations will ensure you stay focused more on the future and less on the past.  After all, it is only the future you can change. The past is to be used purely as a learning tool.

The process of rhythm is not difficult — yet it takes time and requires discipline. tweet this

How committed are you to your self-development on a scale of 1-10?

If you answered 7 or more, then it is time to get rhythm, set aside time, and start the daily process today.


Beth Armknecht MillerBeth Armknecht Miller is CEO of Executive Velocity, a talent and leadership development advisory firm. Beth is a Vistage Chair and a graduate of Babson College and Harvard Business School’s OPM program. Beth’s latest book on executive leadership, Are You Talent Obsessed? Unlocking the secrets to a workplace team of raving high performers, was released in 2014.


photo credit: Slaff


Enter A Comment

  • Random Acts Of Leadership™ | Got Rhythm? ... 14 June 2014, 14 June 2014

    […] As a leader, it is important that you don't neglect self-development. The most systematic way to do that is through the use of development rhythms.  […]