Time is one of the greatest assets of any leader. Learning to balance a leader’s time effectively is often a key in determining the level of success the leader attains. In my experience, every leader has three critical segments where they must invest their time on a regular basis.
Most leaders tend to do one of these especially well, so by default they spend most of their time on it, often to the neglect of the other two. All three are needed. Learning to balance a leader’s time in each of these three areas will greatly enhance the leader’s productivity, so the leader must discipline for the other two.
Here are the 3 segments of time every leader must consider:
Time reflecting on past experience – If a leader doesn’t evaluate where he or she has been and what has been done, he or she will soon be disappointed with where they are going. Leaders must spend ample time in personal, team member and organizational evaluations.
Time focusing on current expectations – A leader must be disciplined to take care of the immediate needs of the organization. The busier a leader becomes, unless a leader is naturally wired for this one, the more he or she tends to naturally neglect the routine tasks required of everyone. Things like returning phone calls and emails in a timely manner, for example, remain critical at every level of leadership.
Time dreaming about future expressions – Leaders must spend time dreaming of the future. This is critical to an organization’s success, but the larger a leader’s responsibilities or organization grows the more time must be spent on this aspect of time management.
The place in the organization and season of responsibility will determine which of these get the greatest attention at the time, but none of them can be neglected for very long periods of time. Again, a leader learning to balance these three components of time is a key aspect in determining the ultimate success of the leader?
In honor of three…here are questions for personal evaluation:
- Which of this are you more geared towards as a leader? (Please don’t say all come naturally.)
- Which of these needs your greatest attention at this time in your leadership? (Be honest.)
- How do you balance your time between these three areas? (Be helpful.)