Back in 2002 we started our Valued Based Leadership journey at Luck Companies. The objective was to re-engage our associates (we had lost our way a bit due to unprecedented growth) by transforming our culture. And our belief then, as it is today, was that the culture is a shadow of the leaders. As such, we launched an intensive leadership development initiative that is as rigorous today as it was in its inception 11 years ago.

As the lessons learned started piling up in the first few years of our journey we crafted a new belief around preparing our leaders to lead. The phrase “it’s what you do before you do what you do that matters most” was adopted and we began to examine exactly what was occurring in the lives of our leader’s hours, days, and sometimes even weeks prior to leadership highs and lows; and the findings were palpable. Over and over and over again leaders would talk about things like sleepless nights, over-packed schedules, missed work-outs, time away from families and negative self-talk when their performance was off the rails. And not surprisingly, the opposite was true when we would dig in on exceptional leadership moments. How many times have you heard leaders talk about doing their best thinking on vacation, or renewed levels of energy and optimism simply from being “caught up” ?

Today, we are in the process of crystallizing some simple truths around preparing to lead. Thoughts and ideas for our leaders to put in practice in the spirit of “it’s what you do before you do what you do that matters most.” Some of what we are considering includes:

  • Know and Understand Yourself – Its’ about knowing and understanding who you are, what you do and why you do it from the inside out. We believe self-management is best activated through an acute awareness of all three.


  • Invest in Yourself – Physically through good eating, sleeping and exercise habits; mentally through your own continued learning and development; emotionally through connectedness with other human beings and time spent on happiness for happiness’ sake; and spiritually through giving back, making a difference and being part of something greater than yourself.


  • Give Yourself a BreakPlato said “Be kind to others for everyone is fighting a hard battle.” Apply this same thinking to you! Embrace self-compassion as we continue to be our own worst critics. You are enough.


  • Practice Mindfulness – Think about what you are thinking and stay in control of your brain. Deepak Chopra tells us what we think we become. “Not even our worst enemy can do as much harm as the mind untrained.” Trend hopeful and optimistic.


  • Edit Your Life – We believe in doing a few things exceptionally well. Draft a “stop doing” list and create enough white space in your life to better see and enjoy the world around you simply for what it is, with a sense of grace and gratitude.


I know, right?  Same old same old, or is it? With the fast pace of everything today are we really pausing long enough to think about how what we are doing in this moment or on this day may (we say will) impact how we show up as a leader tomorrow, next week or even next month? And how about you, what are some of the things you do to ensure you are the best version of yourself when the situation calls for leadership? What is it that you do before you do what you do that matters most in your life?



Mark Fernandes

Mark Fernandes

Having a passion for inspiring people to believe in themselves and become everything they are capable of becoming, Mark works with individuals and organizations to inspire transformation. @MarkSFernandes

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