Yesterday I began reading H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle. by Brad Lomenick. I did not get out of the introduction before I began highlighting passages that were jumping off the page.
The first line I highlighted was "Leadership is more than hard work; it is habitual work...When you rise in the morning, nearly half of your day will be determined by the patterns you've either intentionally created or passively allowed." That is a powerful thought that I had never considered before, but it is absolutely true.
About eighteen months after starting as a bivocational pastor I decided to attend a nearby Bible college to further my education. In the first semester one of the assignments in a class was to record everything we did for one week. We were to do this in fifteen minute segments. The instructor questioned whether my life could be as structured as the form indicated. I assured him it was as that level of structure was the only way I could accomplish everything I needed to do.
Whether you are a church leader or a leader in another organization, the habits you ingrain into your life will play a large part on how successful you will be. Failing to build the right habits in your life will cause you to be very sloppy in your leadership. Setting priorities and building habits to achieve those priorities leads to greater success.
Think back to the above quote. Nearly one-half of your day will be determined by the patterns or habits you've built into your life. Those habits may be intentionally created or you may have passively allowed them to become habits in your life, but in either case they are the way you govern your life.
Any time you do not intentionally build good habits in your life you are drifting, and drifting almost always leads to a negative situation. Few people drift into success.
It's true that you cannot control everything that occurs in your day, but with the right habits you will control nearly half of what happens in your day. The structure that results from those habits will enable you to accomplish the most important things every day. Not only will that make your leadership more effective, it will also provide you more time to deal with the unexpected things that will demand your attention.
What habits define your life and work? Are they habits that you've built into your life, or are they habits that just seemed to show up? Are there new habits that you need to develop to become a more effective leader? What do you need to do to develop those new habits?