Can making your bed make you a better leader? Ah, business lessons from the scouts. Hi. I’m Bette Hochberger, CPA, CGMA. About two weeks ago, my whole family went out to the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. Now you may know, my family is very into Scouting. My husband and I are adult Scout leaders. My kids are all in the Scout program working towards Eagle. So we got to go out and do this very high-level Scout training called Wood Badge. It’s a fantastic program. It’s all about leadership, leading teams, leading yourself, which is where it starts. You learn a lot. It’s a very intense week, with so many things. But one of the essential things that we talk about is how you can’t do what you do because that’s how you’ve always done it. Especially for us as accountants, we fall into a rut. We have a saying; it’s called SALLY, same as last year. It’s our standard operating procedure to do what we’ve always done because why change things?

If you are a business leader, you must stay innovative. At camp, one of the lessons we learned was the concept of making your bed in the morning. The phrase “make your bed” became a little bit famous by Admiral William H. McRaven in that he talked about this at a commencement speech. I’m not a morning person. I am not a bedmaker. I’m not the neatest, most tidy person. Not a clean freak, but because I’m now thinking about how I can’t do things how I’ve always done them, let me give it a try. Believe it or not, it works. Because if you want to win your day, you want to improve your productivity, you start in the morning by accomplishing a task from start to finish.

By doing so, you set the tone for the rest of your day because once you can get one thing done and checked off your list, it’s much easier to keep doing it. So even if your day goes to crap, at least when you go to bed, you have a nice, comfy, made bed, which is quite delightful. I’m not usually a proponent of goofy kinds of things like this, but it turns out it works, so I’m going to recommend it highly. If you need to change or if you need to get your day kicked off a little bit better and if you want to take control of what’s going on, by all means, make your bed. Try for a couple of days. I found last week doing it; if there was a day I didn’t do it right away, I felt off. I had to go and think about, “Well, why do I feel strange today? Why am I not getting anything accomplished?” And I would say, “Oh, I didn’t make my bed. It screwed up my whole day.”

So it’s a great habit. Try it. Let me know how it works. Drop a comment. We’d love to hear if it’s working for you. Like I said, the worst that happens, if it doesn’t change your day, doesn’t change your life, at least your bed is made, and that’s pretty cool at night. So that is your business quickie for today. I hope you try it. I hope it works for you, and we will see you next time.