Coaching Rule #5 – The 24-hour rule


In sports we regularly hear the cliched “we’ve moved on” after a loss. Staley was adamant that win or lose, you can’t dwell on one performance, because you have another match in a few days time. You only have 24 hours to reflect on what just happened.

In my view, the practice of reflecting is not deeply embedded in most business settings. If something doesn’t go as planned, we are more likely to berate ourselves (or worse, others) over what we didn’t do, or perhaps not care to reflect at all because of the embarrassment we might cause ourselves.

But consider a situation where we might reflect that it was a learning experience, and assure ourselves that next time we will be better equipped to succeed.

This is the practice known as self-leadership. It guides our thoughts toward constructive reflection, which in turn builds task-specific self-confidence. This learning agility, which is the ability and willingness to learn from experience, affords us the opportunity to apply that learning to perform successfully at the next opportunity. Clever coaching can provide you the tools to create mental imagery of a successful performance, or undertake constructive self-talk, using affirmations to undercut your inner critic.

Linking back to another coaching rule put forward in The Playbook by Patrick Mouratoglou: emotions are your worst advisor. True reflective practice only occurs when you’ve created the headspace to REFLECT => LEARN => PLAN => ACT.

If you can’t reach that in the first 24 hours, the 24-hour rule might need to become the 48-hour rule – but no further.


Cadence Leadership Advisory is a leadership development business specialising in coaching people, team leadership and development, strategy review and organisational culture.

Its Founder, Lewis Williams, has over 25 years of leadership experience gained through senior roles at NAB, HSBC and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. A Graduate of AGSM@UNSW, a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), and an Approved Advisor with Advisory Board Centre, he instigated and drove development of the 2021 paper “Organisational Culture: Beyond the Intangible” with other alumni of the AICD. He is also an accredited CultureTalk practitioner, a training and development platform that activates the framework of personality archetypes for the growth of leaders, teams, brands and cultures.

FOUNDER: Lewis Williams


MOBILE: 61 (0) 477 371 665

LINKEDIN: cadenceleadershipadvisory/

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