I believe that the most precious commodity that we have is our time. We all get the same amount of it, and how we spend that time will tie directly to the things we accomplish.
That’s why when I saw the headline for the article, “What’s the best use of a leader’s time?”, I knew I needed to write a blindpost against it. Blindposts are when I read a headline and think, “Hey, I have a thought about that,” and I write my thoughts without reading the original article. I basically steal the title, but give the author link credit ;)
What’s the best use of a leader’s time?
There are two lenses to use when answering this question. First, there is non-variable time. This is time that you can set and control, that must get done regardless of how many other things are coming your way. It’s consistent and always going to be a part of your time as the leader.
Then there’s variable time, which is for flexibility to react and help solve problems, and changes as you and the business/team change.
Non-variable areas of focus that all leaders need to spend time against
#1 – Vision
The leader is responsible for clearly and consistently setting the Vision. Whether you lead a company, a team, or just another person, Vision-casting is crucial.
#2 – Setting the table
This term is from the book, Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business. The idea is that once the Vision/Purpose/Culture have been set, its your job as the leader to constantly be checking it and re-centering, because people and behavior will start to stray over time.
#3 – Motivation
Your job is always to help find motivation for the team. Always.
Variable areas of focus
I break this focus area into three parts:
#1 – What, as the leader, are you most needed for at that time?
At any given time, a leader must be versatile (and her schedule must allow for this versatility) in order to react and help the company/team through its current challenges. Too many leaders are so rigid with their time that they cannot effectively shift their priorities when needed. Cut down on those meetings ;)
#2 – What, as the leader, are you BEST at?
Each of has a few super powers, and great leaders figure out what their super powers are and spend as much time as they can using them to help the company. For example, if you’re spending time balancing the finances, but you’re not great at it and someone else is, delegate that work and spend time on what you do great. Delegation is one of two traits that every leader needs.
#3 – Available time for problem-solving
There should always be open gaps in your calendar. It took me a long time to learn this. A fully booked leader is going to be too busy to be effective needed, and doesn’t allow for “Hey I need some advice” kind of interactions. Your team needs the ability to grab you from time to time.
If you want to read more of my thoughts on how to manage your time, check out My Operating System.
Here is a recent #blindpost I wrote, The two traits every entrepreneur needs. And here are more #blindposts you can check out. And a handful of my friends will suggest blindposts for me to write from time to time, please feel free to do that too!