Honor Your Most Important Client

Honor Your Most Important Client
Thomas Thompson
April 12, 2022
min read

My clients know my mantra:

“If it isn't on your calendar, it doesn't exist.”

We all have good intentions, but if we are not intentional about setting times, dates, and places for the things we want to get done, they don’t happen.

  • So when a client tells me she wants to record her first podcast, I ask her when she will set aside the time.
  • When a client tells me he wants to start going to the gym, I ask him what time he is setting his alarm.
  • When a client tells me he is going to have a rough conversation with a partner, I ask him when that conversation is scheduled.

Putting it on the calendar rips it from the realm of "like to" and smacks it squarely in the world of "going to."

So we work on turning our to-do lists into calendar items.

But I have noticed in myself and others a strange tendency:  

When the appointment is just with myself, it is easy to push it.

For years I had a standing appointment every Wednesday at 1 pm to devote myself to reading books and industry-specific articles that would sharpen my saw.  Continuing to learn was crucial to my continuing to lead better.

But I almost never spent that hour reading.  It was preempted by the lunch that went late, the emails I wanted to tackle, or that message that still needed tinkering.  The urgent always found a way to push out the important.

And I began to notice this in other areas on my schedule:

  • I would never dream of skipping my 6:30 Friday meeting with a group of men.  But I’d snooze through my 6:30 gym time.
  • I would never stand up a Zoom call with a client.  But I found other work crowded out my weekly coaching email.
  • I can’t imagine canceling date night with my wife, but I easily pushed my reach-out to potential customers.

Why was it so easy to push the appointments I set for myself?

Because there was no external accountability. No one is checking on me to see if I make it to the gym, tackle the stack of books, or take care of the garage.  

So it is easy to snooze, push, delay.  

Until I started to practice this simple hack:  

Honor the Appointment.

Honor the appointment means I treat whatever block of time I have on my schedule as if I am meeting with the most important client in the world.  

Because I am.  I am meeting with myself.  I am my most important client because if I don’t lead myself well, I will never lead others well.

So that appointment at the gym, to edit my website, or write that leadership article is treated with the same respect as the meeting with a client.

If it is not worth honoring, it is not worth taking up space on your schedule.  But if you deem it critical to your calendar, you wash up, dress up, show up for that appointment.

To lead others, you must first lead yourself.  And that means leading yourself to honor the appointment.

What has been squatting on your to-do list for far too long?  Get it on the books and honor the appointment.

BTW: If you want help figuring out what is stealing your time, check out this resource.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

I founded Thompson Leadership to come alongside leaders like you. Together, we will unpack your unique leadership, unearth your biggest challenge, and create an action plan to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
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