The Daily Dozen

Unique Leadership Axiom: The Daily Dozen adds life to your years and years to your life.

Polished Shoes Save Lives was my posting for 11th of February.  I will continue that theme with several more posts exploring the lifestyle structure which leads to winning.

Darwin told us how capability defines mission.

Darwin’s observations and conclusions about change are a fundamental baseline from which to measure how much change we can bring about in ourselves.  Change is limited to refining through use, what we have and who we are.

We are born with certain personal attributes; nurturing makes those attributes useful.

Boot camp is about nurturing: nurturing self-knowledge, nurturing skill, nurturing the use of standards.  In boot camp old habits die and new habits are born. After boot camp, we must continue to nurture our strengths or suffer lost capability. We nurture strength of body, mind and soul through The Daily Dozen particularized to each of these aspects.

Lifestyle Equals Capability

In boot camp you fire up your competitive spirit:  Physical demand after physical demand… you become strong and agile. Mental demand after mental demand… mental reactions become quicker.  Challenge after challenge… you refuse to give in.  You gain a new lifestyle: The style of a winner! The style of leadership!

Many people who have never been in the military have created a winning lifestyle.  They did it without a military boot camp, but they had their own boot camp, their own physical, mental and situational challenge.  Winners succeed in life by using their own “Daily Dozen” to keep their edge.

Roger C. Parker, author and publishing coach, offers clients a daily dozen approach.  He expects them to commit at least one half hour each day to writing and promoting their book.

Wolf Kohn is a brilliant graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the president and the owner of a software corporation.  I asked him how he maintains his ability to solve complex mathematical problems.  He has his own version of The Daily Dozen.  He never goes to bed until he has worked at least one mathematical problem each day.  Clearly, Wolf knows how to maintain the successful edge that he gained at MIT.

Many others like me moved on from serious technical educations into management without continuing the MIT daily dozen.  That is, without continuing to work technical problems every day.  Many like me who were once extraordinarily physically fit have lost that capability.  We lost the nurturing of serious physical activity each day.  We are not being “All We Can Be”.

Slogans Guide Us

Darel Rutherford, author and life coach, teaches that in order to have anything you must first BE the person who would naturally have that thing.  The Army trains its soldiers in order to achieve that state of ownership.  Their slogan is Be Know Do… strong support for The Daily Dozen.

In the military, tradition plays a powerful role.  Tradition communicates through symbols, insignia, etiquette and loyalty. We think of tradition, as “my father did it this way, I do it this way and my son will do it this way.”  The Daily Dozen collapses tradition’s multigenerational timescale into one lifetime.  Routines keep your life in order.

The Daily Dozen depends on these principles:

  • Strength is technique.
  • Grease the groove.
  • High tension

Strength Is Technique

All athletes win their events long before the day of competition.  They practice every move in their specialty, over and over. They all use technique to minimize the difficulty of their specialty.  Any professional athlete will tell you that smooth as fast.  That is technique.  That comes from the athlete’s use of his or her Daily Dozen.

Grease the Groove

Getting in the groove is like getting in the zone.  It is achieving a state in which mind and body function without thought or will.  Repetition is the grease for this groove.  The Daily Dozen regimen is exercises today, tomorrow and on the day after that.

High Tension

Muscles do not build strength through aerobic exercise.  Muscles need to be stressed in order to build strength.  The brain needs to be stressed in order to develop analytical strength.  The competitive spirit needs to be stressed if you plan to win. You need to be winner if you plan to lead.

Leader’s Focus: To Be All You Can Be, continue refining through use, what you have and who you are. Do The Daily Dozen.

My Take on Winning: Boot Camp nurtures the most fundamental nature of the human being.

These are the United States Marine Corps’ “daily dozen:” From: http://ask.metafilter.com/42174/What-are-the-Marine-Corps-Daily-Dozen
1. Side straddle hops (jumping jacks)
2. Marine Corps Push-ups
3. Cherry pickers
4. Rowing Exercise
5. Side Benders
6. Flutter Kicks
7. Toe Touches
8. Crunches
9. Trunk Twisters
10. In-Place Double Time
11. Standing Leg Lifts
12. “Six Inches” (Lying leg-lifts)

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4 Responses to The Daily Dozen

  1. George V.S. White says:

    Today’s youth, for the most part, do not have firm goals in life. They lack the maturity to allow them to compete. Although I represent the minority, I feel strongly feel that two years of compulsory military service will result in a stronger generation with a purpose in mind. Call it “growing up” if you will, but these kids have not received the discipline at home that they need to have a direction of purpose. Israel has it and look at their younger generation. They have the best intelligence in the world and we use it to our military advantage.

  2. Frank Cosgrove says:

    Two years of compulsory military training would benefit all “children” immediately after high school. It would provide an immediate purpose, an immediate income, a way to finance further education other that student loans, instant free skill training to support a non-educational career, an opportunity to travel and broaden their life experience, a sense of structure and discipline and space to grow up without the well-meaning interference of their parents.

    • CrazyDocCummings says:

      “The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability,” said Henry Ford

  3. Tim Murray says:

    Some of the names of the Daily Dozen have changed over 50 years. I have always tried to revue some of these tried and true flexing and exercises to increase abilities plus other movements including machines. Our life makes us soft over time unless we try to stay in shape or get back in shape at any age.
    I remember: pull ups, chin ups, with palm facing or away; full push ups-Marine Style;
    sit ups (w/elbow touch opposite r/ then l/knee-not done now; & squat thrust-not done now; side benders, trunk twisters, touch toes, Jumping Jack-Side Straddle Hops, others not remembered.

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