John Coleman wrote to HBR that leadership is not a solitary task. Some of the greatest accomplishments in business, politics, and culture have come not from individual initiative alone but from those working in, with, and for the community. People, he added, do not like to follow leaders who are only dedicated to their own personal glory. People will sacrifice everything for leaders and communities who give them a higher calling and a greater purpose.
Owing to this reason, it is vital for leaders to use their time not only to drive their own satisfaction but also improve community, employees, and society as a whole. To do that, Tom Cummings and Jim Keem on their Leadership Landscape shares the 40 – 30 – 15 -15 rules on how to best spend your time as a leader.
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There is a lot of improvement needed to be done in order to grow a business. This can be started by creating a business future chart. Know which areas to improve, which positions are already filled with the right person, what things needed to encourage people to grow together with the company, what plan needed to achieve short and long term goals, which spots don’t exist today that will be needed later to help map the company’s future.
Focusing on long-term view without proper strategy is hard to achieve. Therefore, it is important to focus 30 percent of your time on strategy, vision, and culture of the company. Company’s vision and strategy is also the fundamental source of motivation for your team. Spending time designing and adjusting a long-term vision and strategy would create a purpose and motivational driver on each of your team.
Along with this, leaders should also make sure to have the work plan to execute the strategy and purpose. Your presence as a leader is needed for perfect execution, hence, be present in every meeting, build effective weekly meetings and discuss problems efficiently.
The drivers for the company’s success are varied within organisations which might include cultures and two-way feedback. Maximise 15 percent of your time as a leader to focus on boosting these factors. Analyse any gaps that you see based on your company’s strategic intent, what’s working well and what’s not working well and why. Pay attention to the detail of your employees who are underperforming or those who achieve great performance.
In addition, this 15 percent should include understanding a core issue or challenge your company is having. This would require you to pause your day to reflect and think. Thus, give yourself permission for space and time to think more clearly. Do your research and entertain yourself with fresh ideas everyday.
Great leaders do not only improve those around them but also continuously improve themselves. Leader’s self-improvement can be achieved by self-reflection, self-edification, mindfulness, planning, thinking, reading, exercises, etc. There are a number of activities for leaders to keep themselves updated with current skills and strategic thinking. Self-improvement can also include getting an executive coach or simply spend time to relax and treat oneself. Relaxation and good treatment would allow leaders to always function 100 percent when needed.
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