One of the biggest secrets of effective coaching is perhaps that there is no secret. There are techniques and insights but no magic bullet, no gold ring. You will ask more questions than you will get answers, and sneaking bluntly, that is the point.

In a recent Fast Company piece, executive coach Chris Holmberg pointed out these facts but also raised another important point that simple actions are the keys to unlocking complex truths. He suggested a small number of simple exercises, including 3 simple questions you can pose to yourself daily in order to focus in on where you are and where you’d like to be.

Ask yourself each of these 3 questions at the beginning and end of each day:

The It: After the day is over, ask “Did I do what I was supposed to do today? How much further than that did I go?” Did you spend much time off task? Feeling distracted? What’s on your plate tomorrow? Do you have a clear path for how to accomplish those things?

The We: How did you interact with those around you? Did you add value to their experience or did you frustrate them in some way? What do you anticipate for tomorrow? Are dreading some interaction? How do you plan to deal with a certain situation that may arise? Visualize a successful encounter in your mind.

The I: How was your mood today? Did you feel bouts of frustration or mostly content? Did you eat well? Get enough sleep? Are there any biases that may be coloring your view and hindering your productivity? Many leaders get wrapped around the axle on the “It” and lose sight of the “I” and “We.”

Taking a moment or two to check in on these three things at the beginning and end of every day is a great practice for staying on track as a leader. The important thing to remember is that while your vision may be your primary driving force, you won’t be able to accomplish it to its fullest potential without catering to your surroundings.

Do you have other methods for keeping yourself in check as a leader? I’d love to hear about them. Let me know in the comments below.

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