In a time when leaders are busier than ever and have no energy to spare, how do they raise their leadership bar? I’ve been writing about this in recent posts. The third step in learning to Raise Your Leadership Bar is to be more intentional.
In Leading with Emotional Courage: How to Have Hard Conversations, Create Accountability, and Inspire Action on Your Most Important Work (Wiley, 2018), author Peter Bregman reminds leaders who want to be all they can be that they need to be strategic about their time and energy. They must be productive and that requires optimal focus and effectiveness. Being fatigued makes this much more difficult. Leaders can’t be busy just to be busy. Their time must count.
An intentional approach focuses on the most beneficial areas, and thinking can be one of them. You find what matters most by recognizing that the things bringing you the most joy are just as important as the things bringing the organization the most benefit. The intention is to pursue both.
Joy is important to grow and refresh. It permits you to apply yourself and have a positive perspective in your role. A significant aspect of finding joy is to let go of the things that annoy, frustrate or drain you. Many leaders find doses of refreshment by letting emails go for a while. Take a step back from time to time and let go of worries.
Many leaders get worn down by wasting their time. Ineffective meetings, reports or trips take their toll. Make note of how you spend your effort, and you’ll see how much of it could be more fruitful. Make an intentional decision to change this as much as you can by revising your routine, commitments and habits. How can you reduce frustration and increase joy?
Do you spend too much unproductive time on the internet? Are all the meetings you attend necessary? Eliminate time wasters, but don’t obsess over it. If you want to reach your maximum potential, you must be intentional about your goals and the methods you’ll employ to achieve them.