Making It a Priority!

assertive communication average response time being responsive as a leader communication importance of team leadership leadership communication proactive leadership time management for leaders value what does responsiveness mean Dec 14, 2022
time management for leaders

As I emphasized before, I’ve never met someone with any real level of leadership responsibility who didn’t have far more things on their to-do list than they had time for in a given day. That seems to be a given if we’re going to wear a leadership hat - or maybe it should be a cape… The secret sauce to earning increased levels of influence in our leadership roles though is making sure we accomplish the most important tasks on our lists, like responding where and when we need to, lies in defining our priorities. 

Two of the lessons in our Emerging Leader Development course reference the most effective thing I’ve ever learned from John Maxwell on ensuring I dedicate my time to the right things, those priorities that have the most impact on achieving the results I need to accomplish each day. In the opening lesson of the course, we introduce the idea of The Three R’s that I first learned in 2001 when I read The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. We briefly touch on the importance of identifying what’s truly required of us, what gives us the best return on the time we invest, and what provides us with the most reward.

Although we only touch on this from a high level in that first lesson, we’re often able to see the wheels start turning with folks when they’re challenged with the idea that they may be required to see that a task is completed but it may not be something that they have to physically do themselves. I’ve seen leaders at all levels of organizations struggle to delegate tasks for a whole herd of reasons, but the folks who are new to leadership roles tend to struggle the most because they’re still battling the thought that “if you need it done right, you’ve gotta do it yourself.” Regardless of our title or role, we cannot get bogged down in that kind of thinking and still make sure we’re taking care of our priorities - like being responsive to those who are counting on us!

When we cover the R’s in more detail in the sixth lesson, we work through all three very thoroughly then we introduce a fourth; Reproduction. I won’t take the time to go into all of that here but I will share that the folks we’ve seen really grab onto the first three R’s have a solid head start on reproducing themselves as leaders, that final lesson just gives them a framework for being intentional about!

Time management for leaders is absolutely critical, especially if we want to be sure our teams and the clients we serve see that we value them through our responsiveness to their needs. Leaders who don’t respond are giving up so much of the influence they’ve likely worked hard to earn - within their teams as well as with the community around them. When we make responsiveness a priority, we will see a real-time example of the importance of leadership in customer service - and the results that come from that - but that’s not limited to just the customers who pay for our goods or services, so we’ll wrap this all up next time with that…