A while back I was awakened by a chirp. Not a spring-time-birds-singing chirp. This one was much louder. This one was saying, “Wake-up idiot.” I tried to roll over and ignore it, but this chirp didn’t come with a snooze option.

The chirp I heard was from one of our smoke detectors. There was no fire; just a sleepy homeowner who hadn’t changed the batteries in a while. Recognizing it was time, I pushed my wife out of bed . . . It would have been better for me if there had been a fire.

As leaders, wouldn’t it be great it there were chirps to remind us that it is time to take care of ourselves.

A relationship at home needs maintenance. Chirp. Some coworker needs encouragement. Chirp. Your body needs more exercise. Chirp. Its time to spend some time reflecting on your priorities. Chirp.

Unfortunately, the “self-leadership” chirps can sometimes be hard to hear.

If you want to be a great leader, you must learn to listen for the chirps. They are there. Small clues that

are calling out for your attention.

Set aside some time this week and do some self evaluation. If your schedule is crowded, your home is cluttered, and you are afraid to step on the scales, it might be time to pay attention to that little warning sound you hear.

The comfortable thing would be to ignore the noise and keep on sleeping. Don’t. Eventually there will be a life or a leadership fire. If you want to be ready, you better listen to the chirp.



Where is your life “chirping” right now and what do you need to do to address it?




Leave a comment

Teresa Stubblefield-Skreen

8 years ago

This reminder needs to be more in the forefront in my opinion. Without self management I don’t think you can be a quality leader. I’ve seen too many leaders who are great at a lot of things but can’t seem to be truthful with themselves. It is painful for those they lead.


8 years ago

Self leadership is indeed the key Teresa. Thanks for the comment!

S Scott Johnson

8 years ago

Great post, Randy! I would also throw in the toll of burdensome processes and procedures. This is one area we as leaders can have an influence and make some significant changes. It may take time and buy-in from peers, your employees or your boss, but a lot of unnecessary processes often slow us down. The challenge is often convincing employees to simplify or eliminate unneeded work, when they think you are trying to eliminate their job or make change just for change sake.


8 years ago

Great comment, Scott. So true!

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