I draw inspiration for leadership development from everyday life and going to the chiropractor is no exception.

My chiropractor is brilliant. Brandon Jilesen is different than any other chiropractor I’ve worked with because he doesn’t practice his craft like most others in his field. He engages differently with pain and approaches treatment from the inside out. Whereas other chiropractors I have worked with have provided short-term results that ameliorate the symptoms for a time. Brandon provides sustainable, lasting change focused on solving the problem at the root cause.

Leaders have to be willing to play the long game.

Leadership is a lot like the holistic approach to health and performance my chiropractor practices. Small changes now will impact your performance results down the road. Learning, employing and analyzing just one of the “18 performance rules leaders can’t ignore,” such as learning how to lead or engaged communication, will improve your leadership.

Like chiropractic, leadership success is a game of millimetres and incremental change.

The first exercise my chiropractor gave me to help solve my lack of power in my tennis serve was to breathe. That’s it? My mind immediately went to that place of doubt.

Is breathing really going to solve my stability and strength issues?

Is breathing going to improve my performance and help me win games?

I quickly learned that breathing is simple in theory but difficult in practice.

Our bodies are wired to breathe without conscious thought or process. But conscious breathing can positively affect your performance. Speeding up or elongating your breath activates a response from the nervous system such as priming your body for action or relaxing your body for rest and recovery. Both of which can enhance your performance.

Instead of adopting default methods of leadership handed down through organizations and the media leaders can consciously choose to lead better.

Which led me to ask the question, how can leaders consciously lead differently?

Good leadership is easy in theory and difficult in practice, especially with the complexity of a global marketplace and a revolving turnover of talented employees.

I came across an article for coaches that offered 3 rules for success as a coach. I decided to apply my critical thinking to what makes effective leadership. So I came up with the 18 rules leaders can’t ignore that can help to direct attention to activities that produce results.

Small improvements now add up to enhanced performance in the long run.

18 Performance Rules Leaders Can’t Ignore

  • 3 Rules for Leading People
  • 3 Rules for Learning How to Lead
  • 3 Rules for Engaged Communication
  • 3 Rules for Relationships
  • 3 Rules for Building High-performance Teams
  • 3 Rules for Entrepreneurs

Which one applies to you and your team or organization?

Choose one of the rules, apply it in action, review your success and do it again. When applied repeatedly, you’ll notice improvements in communicating with people and the ease with which you leverage your team’s strengths.

3 Rules for Leading People

Rule 1: Be authentic and stop adopting the default behaviours of past leaders.

Rule 2: Leverage team strengths to bolster your weaknesses.

Rule 3: Confidence is allowing others to lead.

leaders passing the baton while running

3 Rules for Learning How to Lead

Rule 1: Practice daily self-reflection.

Rule 2: Apply your skills and theories in action.

Rule 3: Think critically.

3 Rules for Engaged Communication

Rule 1: Speak from your experience.

Rule 2: Listen as if your life depended on it.

Rule 3: Be willing to learn about yourself from others.

3 Rules for Relationships

Rule 1: Seek out people different than you.

Rule 2: Choose to see the world from a new perspective.

Rule 3: Speak from the inside out.

3 Rules for Building High-performance Teams

Rule 1: Fill your team with extraordinarily talented people.

Rule 2: Give them the freedom to play with ideas and dialogue without constraints.

Rule 3: Co-create a playbook that defines process and performance.

3 Rules for Entrepreneurs

Rule 1: Not all ideas are worth pursuing.

Rule 2: Launch, learn, iterate.

Rule 3: Move on from failure quickly. (See rule number two).

Leading people and organizations is complex and challenging. You can choose to stop leading by default. The patterns of life offer many unique opportunities to improve communication, empathy and performance.

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