I was brought up often being reminded of the adage, "Both the rich man and the poor man each have twenty four hours in their day. The difference between them is often how they use that time." One of the challenges of leadership is always managing time, or at least finding a way to manage one's time to get those things that need to be done, done in an effective manner. Charles Bruxton wrote, "Thought will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it." In my over three decades of working closely with many hundreds of leaders, I witnessed the equivalent of years, perhaps decades of time squandered by these individuals. Because of these observations, I dedicate an entire unit of my leadership training programs to time management (and exactly what it means, and what to do to handle it better).
1. Not enough leaders put their plans down in writing (or in the equivalent digital form). Many seem to have the attitude that to do so is a waste of their precious time, and they often feel pressed for time already. I could not disagree more! The planning stage for a new leader is perhaps the most crucial. By clearly identifying one's agenda, he can then formulate a plan, that includes prioritizing, delegating, time lines, goals, backup or contingency plans, and then clearly articulating and communicating those ideas in a transparent, motivating matter. The time management process and planning is to effective and meaningful leadership, what a properly formulated and utilized budget is to an organization's fiscal well- being.
2. How does one make time? By using the planning process to eliminate unnecessary redundancies, and creating priorities, visions, and goals for one's tenure in office. A leader must look at his organization as a whole, analyzing both its strength and weaknesses, and come up with a plan to build on the strengths, while minimizing and reducing the weaknesses. I have observed many begin their term as a leader in a gung- ho, positive, energetic matter, only to eventually become burned out, often predominantly because he has not used his time in an efficient and effective matter. Effective leaders realize they cannot do everything themselves, and must depend on others, but they must be careful to only delegate things to individuals they can count on to get the needed work done (otherwise the delegating ends up being counter- productive and a time waster). The first thing a wise leader does after his initial review of the needs of the organization, is to create a list of priorities, and emphasize top priorities himself.
3. A leader must also know his personal strengths and weaknesses, and put his most concerted personal effort and time into areas where he can do the most good. Simultaneously, he must formulate an inner circle of trusted and capable advisers and assistants that have their own areas of expertise. By doing this, a leader can balance his time most efficiently.
Time can either be a leader's friend or enemy. The greatest and most effective leaders invariably are those that manage and balance time the most effectively, and use it as their friend.
Richard Brody,with over 30 years consultative sales,marketing,training,managerial, and operations experience,has trained sales and marketing people in numerous industries, given hundreds of seminars, appeared as a company spokesperson on over 200 radio and television programs, and regularly blogs on real estate, politics, economics, management, leadership, negotiations, conferences and conventions, etc. He has negotiated, arranged and/ or organized hundreds of conferences and conventions. He's a Senior Consultant with RGB Consultation Services, an Ecobroker, a Licensed Buyers Agent (LBA) and Licensed Salesperson in NYS, in real estate.
Richard has owned businesses, been a Chief Operating Officer, a Chief Executive Officer, and a Director of Development, as well as a consultant. He has a Consulting Website ( http://tinyurl.com/rgbcons ), and his company PLAN2LEAD, LLC's site ( http://www.plan2lead.net/ ), and can be followed on Twitter