No matter what the corporate makeup of your organization - for profit or not - the ability to be an effective steward of all resources is a critical competency for every leader and employee. Among those resources is time. After all, if you're not using it - you're losing it.
Have you ever considered time as a business partner? If not, you should.
Last week I discussed ensuring you have a Power Hour, and painted a picture of the benefits that can come from that. Well, I made an assumption that anyone reading was already a pretty effective time manager. And probably for many, you are.
However, if you are not... this is your coaching prompt because time is not only a key asset, the use of time determines your leadership effectiveness.
Here's how I see Time:
- a coach
- a reality check
- a measurement
- a gauge
- a truth-teller
- a road-map
...to name a few.
For example, in its basic form, time is used in accounting - e.g. quarterly reports, monthly summaries, and so on. It's used to determine how employees are paid - e.g. hourly... pretty basic stuff, right? It's so embedded in the standard operations of an enterprise (and our lives in general), I think we take it for granted.
So, the coaching question this week is "How are you working with time as your partner? And, if you're leading leaders, how are they and their teams?"
If you want to improve how you use it, here's a 3-step tip using the mantra - Plan it, Map it, Manage it.
Working with a week at a glance:
- Plan what you want/need to do - tied to vision & strategy of course, determined from your "Power Hour"
- Plug it into your calendar - beyond meetings, map out when and how long you'll work with needed activities
- Manage it - you might need to bump things around, and re-prioritize as the week progresses.
These 3 activities, if done consistently, will significantly improve your outcomes because they incorporate key time management skills: time awareness, time estimation, and time navigation.
Look a week ahead at how your time is planned to be spent, using what I call a time map, which helps you to:
- Document your activity
- Give you a record to refer to when your memory fails you
- Serves as a coach because it shows the reality of how you work, particularly how and why you make the decisions you do
- And helps you stay on track related to your vision and strategy... tracking decisions and activities keeps you mindful of alignment
These are just a few bonuses of using a time map to truly make time a partner. Of course, ultimately your goal is to be effective - getting the most needed stuff accomplished.
Coaching Reminder: Each month, we have a theme. Download these, do the action items, build a notebook of proven activity and results (I call that a "performance tracker"), and teach others.
That's all for now! Stay tuned for next month's theme - Effective Coaching as a Leader... Are you one?