Are you a busy leader? Welcome to the crowd! All of the leaders I coach are busy. As a matter of fact, if I come across a leader who says they aren’t busy, I view them with a bit of skepticism!
It seems as if people are getting busier than ever. Just look at kids today vs. 40 years ago. It’s common now for kids to have activities almost every night of the week as well as on weekends. I sometimes wonder if kids are getting enough rest and relaxation. When I was young, there seemed to be more time to just lie in the grass, stare at the clouds and daydream. I have fond memories of being completely relaxed, letting my imagination run wild.
It’s not just kids who seem to be constantly busy. If you are a leader who spends most of your time running from meeting to meeting and performing tasks that you can check off your lengthy to-do list, beware! Your busyness may be negatively impacting your business.
When are you taking the time to dream about the possibilities? To think about the future and how to create the future you desire? To look at the horizon and see what new technologies, competitors and opportunities will be appearing in the next few days, months and years? To make sure that all of the tasks and meetings are taking you in the right direction?
The most successful leaders schedule regular time on their calendar for a “meeting with themselves”. They clear their desks and their minds from distraction, and allow the creative and strategic ideas to flow. The top 1% also encourages their management team to do the same. By making the time for creativity and vision, you will ensure that you are heading in the right direction.
Photo by: David Blackwell. / Foter / CC BY-ND
Cindy, thanks for this simple but powerful article. Too often people confuse business with progress. Beyond the points you made, I find that a leader can be more effective it they have a clear definition of what winning means in their organization. This should be updated at least annually, as part of their planning process. This improves not only their personal effectiveness, but also the effectiveness of their team. This article makes this point: http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/12/a-winning-culture-keeps-score/
Thanks, Bill. You are correct in your assessment that many leaders are busy being ineffective or working on low priority items.
Cindy, a good reminder. I love the conveyance of leaders “meeting with themselves.” Better, meeting with their management teams! Time is such a precious commodity. We talk often in my group about identifying the urgent from the important.