Are you a practice leader?

I heard a new term this morning on an episode of the One Thing Podcast: a practice leader.

Have you ever heard this?

I don’t know if it came from Gary Keller or the One Thing, but it struck me. The host, Geoff Woods said: There are a lot of people out there describing themselves as thought leaders, but nobody’s looking for a guru.

I would add that when we choose to lead, we might sometimes think that means we need to completely know what we’re doing. We might think we’re supposed to have everything figured out.

And really, who does?

Are you a practice leader?

A practice leader is someone who is on the journey. Leaders make mistakes just like everyone else does. And to hide that or have an expectation of yourself that it is otherwise helps no one. Leading by example may ultimately show up as results, but it doesn’t start that way, and it doesn’t always look like that along the way. Leading by example is about who you are being and what your doing.

Whether you are leading a team, a company, your family, your clients, or even just yourself for the moment, you have the opportunity to lead through the way that you yourself are growing and changing. Working through challenges, not always being right.


At the end of the day, time must be of a principle concern. Time, unlike money or work or material things, is the one thing that is utterly finite. No matter what we do, we can never create any more of it. And we cannot say for sure just how much of it is allocated to us. Anything can happen to you or me tomorrow. We just don’t know.

If we are to lead effectively, we must be purposeful about our time.

Geoff turned the word TIME into an acronym that is very useful in considering what our leadership journey can look like:

T – stands for treading. This is the beginning (not of your leadership, but quite frankly, of any new initiative.) This is where you have the desire to be something or do something and you’re working through and around all of the other things, the meetings, the schedule, the interruptions. You’re treading water, and it doesn’t feel like you’re getting anywhere at first.

I – stands for implementing. This is where you put the systems into place. Where you’ve made your plan for where you want to go and now you are blocking the time to work on the most important thing. This is where you’re building a framework that supports your mission, and getting help from others in the form of support and accountability. You’re using tools, such as perhaps the door-hanger on your office that says “I’m working on my one thing right now” so that your attention is protected during that time-block.

M – stands for mastery. This comes from time on task over time. This is where the results begin to show up, because you’ve dedicated your efforts to the goal and the framework of making it happen. And by the way, mistakes still happen here. Failures still happen here. Yet over time they become less, as we learn and re-calibrate our systems, asking and re-asking the important questions like: What is the one thing that I can do, such that by doing it, everything else becomes easier or unnecessary?

E – this stands for empowering others. This is where we deepen our knowledge, skills and habits even further than we could have previously imagined… by sharing our journey with others and teaching and supporting them to use the same tools to go on their own. Gary Keller said the best class you take is the one you teach.

Does this process sound interesting to you?

Have you read The One Thing book or listened to the podcast?

If not, go out and get the book! I recommend starting there.

PS – I don’t have any association with that company and I don’t receive anything whatsoever for directing you to the One Thing. I’m sharing this because the principles in this book have changed my life.

What if they could they change yours too?

What would that do for you?



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