with greg layton

The Inner Chief is for leaders, professionals and small business owners who want to accelerate their career and growth. Our guest chiefs and gurus share powerful stories and strategies so you can have more purpose, influence and impact in your career.

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G’day Chiefs

In today’s minisode, I am going to go through how I build my operating rhythm and how you can too.

There is a great quote from author William Edwards Deming, “If you can't describe what you're doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing.” And this is absolutely a process.

What exactly is an operating rhythm?

It is important to have a personal operating rhythm that is optimised for the work you do and the strategic plan you have for your career. If you're in a leadership position, you'll need an operating rhythm for your team, including daily stand-ups, weekly team meetings, monthly meetings, and annual reviews. If you're in a team and report to someone else, it's likely you'll have an operating rhythm for them as well.

My personal routine

I recommend an annual offsite – two days at least – planning session. This is your two or three days to do your personal visioning for your career and life. If you've got a partner and a family, do it with them. Go away for a couple of days, book time out of the calendar, around Christmas or middle of the year is normally a good time, and get away from it all. Turn everything off and do your visioning process.

Then you have a quarterly offsite, which is just you. Now, this normally takes about two hours to four hours, and it is you stepping out of the business, getting away from it all, maybe going to the beach or the mountains for half a day or a full day if you like, and just sit down and just do a sense check: “Am I on track?” I think you can even combine that with what you're doing with your team: “Are we on track for what I'm delivering personally? Is my career on track? Is my life on track? Am I doing all the right things at work?”

I find a monthly personal meeting isn’t that important at an individual level. However, I find a weekly reset is useful, where I sit down for about an hour every Monday morning and look at everything on my plate personally and from a business perspective, and plan my week in a fair amount of detail. I put family things in my calendar, personal commitments etc and then I can visualise the week in front of me. And then every second day, I do a daily focus session.

I also have two other meetings that go in every single week without fail. Monday morning is a reset, getting ready for the week ahead, and Friday afternoon is a sign-off where I brain dump everything from my mind onto a page, making sure I empty the vessel. It's a weekly sign-off so that I can enjoy the weekend and totally switch off.


So, Chief, in conclusion, I want to emphasise the importance of having a personal operating rhythm that works for you and your career. By using a template and identifying all the personal and work-related elements needed for your rhythm, you can plan and execute your work and career goals effectively. So go and build out your annual rhythm and then stick to it, build that momentum, because the longer you can stick to it, the better in the long-run.

Stay epic,