George leads a team of eight direct reports, and they have a combined responsibility to manage over 200 people. George is highly productive, highly knowledgeable, and highly driven. However, his version of time management can be to push his needs through the team solely on his timeline and sometimes on his whims. That creates a cascade effect through the entire team, impacting professional and personal lifestyles for many people in his organizational responsibility.
Generally, people act in response to their use of time. They follow and do not lead. The concept of managing time usually is a series of reactions to events that occur. Schedules are adjusted, life happenings altered, work extended, commitments added, and events juggled. There is a failure to “time lead” in their own life.
What negatively impacts productivity is when a leader struggles with their own use of time and projects that onto their staff or workforce as they navigate their own tight schedule. Whether you are a leader or direct report, being a time-optimized leader allows you to make everyone around you become more efficient. When you choose to practice programed integrity, seasoned empathy, focused periods, visionary stretches, measured motivation, and scheduled team building – you are demonstrating time-optimized leadership.
Key subjects to help you and others is to center on keeping your word, doing the right thing, not compromising on your honesty, and following through on all your obligations. Because George lives in a fast-paced world, sometimes he forgets what he commits to his team. It is not intentional, but it does impact their view of him.
An empathetic leader does not just feel sorry for others but tries to understand their situation. Because George grew up in the system he now leads, he can miss when others struggle with the use of their time. Being mindful to invest time to be compassionate, caring, and supportive will save time in the long run because he’ll be proactive to jump in and coach, not being reactive to correct.
Leaders need time to be focused. The ability to create zones of concentrated work empowers George to execute strategy and adjust tactics. That should not just apply to him. Giving permission for others to have firm periods of protected time (and honoring that) opens time optimization through all areas of the company.
George is a great visionary and idea machine. It is his strength as a leader, but also a time-buster for his team. Because so many of the new ideas come from him alone, the team gets frustrated because they feel like they don’t get their ideas heard. Creating visionary stretches for everyone, allocating time for new ideas brings time-optimization and improvement across the board.
Because he is a passionate and intense person, George’s motivational push can sometimes be perceived as negative and intimidating. By measuring his motivation through diplomacy and optimism he’ll communicate better and align the team to better execute. Everyone will be better time-aligned.
Scheduled Team Building
George takes the time to get to know everyone on the team. From assistants to his direct reports, he invests in creating an environment where people work together. To take productivity to the next level, he would benefit from more formal gatherings designed to recognize people for their accomplishments but also get their direct feedback for organizational improvement.
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It is not just George
George is not one person and reflects many leaders I have served with and reported to throughout my career. He is also a reflection of some of my shortcomings as a leader. However, George can also be you. Whatever you do in work and life, you impact others and yourself by your time leadership choices.
Give yourself focused periods of time, empathetic time actions, continued and programed integrity, licensed visionary time, time-intentioned motivation, and schedule yourself relationship building periods. Time-optimized leadership opens you to a lifestyle of continued new possibilities.
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