Leadership is envisioning a great future and guiding others relentlessly toward it. Yet many leaders get lost in — and ultimately fail by — spending too much time managing the day-to-day.
If I were to ask you to be perfectly candid about the percentage of your time you spend on the day-to-day routines and issues of your enterprise — versus guiding your team toward the future — what would you say? Pick a number.
Now imagine you’re captaining an ocean-liner. Let’s say you’re spending that amount of time (your percentage) facing away from the forward-looking windows and instruments. You’re doing other “Important” things: maybe you’re on the phone with the engine room, fixing a rivet, or talking to passengers, organizing the current day’s shipboard activities, supply-ordering, and so on.
There you are, fully engaged in “doing” in the present moment. Meantime, a mile ahead is a hazard or a better way to get to your destination. If only you hadn’t distracted yourself with the needs of managing the present.
I’ll bet you’d agree that spending any significant percentage of time this way would make you a very poor captain indeed. Of course you’re better off delegating those present-day tasks to those you trust and keeping your eyes firmly facing forward — toward your destination.
Leadership has a definite best use of time: navigating from the present to the future. The highest-achieving leaders spend the majority of their time focused on building and guiding toward the future, while keeping a close eye on any big barriers and drivers in the present that most impact the way forward.
Of course there are times when events force one to zoom in on today, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s simply a matter of how much time you spend on today versus tomorrow, on average, over the long haul.
Too many leaders spend their time on today’s crises and challenges. The question for you is whether most days are like that, or not? If so, then you are leading like a manager.
Read Full Article via Two Great Ways to Time-Shift Your Leadership (The Recovering Leader).
More than a quarter century in business Jim Woods successful clients speaks to his solid reputation for groundbreaking work and targeted results in the areas of leadership training, organizational development, executive development, executive coaching and front-line employee development. Learn more.
Thank you for sharing this article. Jim