4 Simple Steps to a Way Better Week

I tell students that my class should be the best class they take at Berkeley. I know. Sounds arrogant. But I quickly explain the two reasons why. First, “the topic is YOU,” I tell them – “your leadership – and what’s more interesting than YOU?” Second, I say that it’s not about me, but about my goal — and their wonderful opportunity — to unleash their phenomenal collective experience, diversity, insight, and knowledge. They can teach each other 50 times more than I ever could. Two years ago in my grad school class, I paired students together to stimulate that distributed leadership. Eve emailed the whole class a few weeks later, singing the praises of her class buddy. She said that the two of them were lodging their goals with each other, and it was working so well to hold themselves accountable, that she was inviting others to do it, too. Cool idea, eh?

I can’t remember how it happened, but as Eve was graduating last year, and I was heading into a summer without the daily, repetitive demands of teaching, Eve and I agreed that we would be accountability partners for each other. For the past 52 weeks, every Monday we’ve emailed each other our top 3, always-measurable goals, for the week ahead. We briefly report-out on the progress made on the three goals we declared from the week before. Occasionally we have a suggestion, contact, or resource for the other. Often we applaud each other.

And it works.

A PhD student has been sending me her goals for the past 6 months; it helps her structure in this time when she’s beginning her dissertation. I’ve told others. And now, I’m sharing the idea with you.

Why 4 simple steps? The first is to find a partner. It’s 3 steps a week after that – to generate accountability and momentum as you

Lead with your best self!


  • This was a good easy to udnerstand Reading for Leading. It is simple, leadership is a partnership. Compare this to other kinds of business formation.

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