The one thing that will instantly make you a better leader.

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If you study leadership or you lead in any capacity you should have a drive to be better at what you do. In meeting leaders from around the country I find some leaders that are super sharp and are knocking it out of the park then there are others who are struggling then there is a third leader who thinks they are killing it and they just aren’t. There are many factors that contribute to each of these states of leadership but the older I get and the more leaders I meet that fall into each of these three categories what I find is they have one thing in common.

How they view time. How a leader uses their time and the time of those they lead will tell you much about their short therm and longer term effectiveness as a leader.  Peter Drucker says it this way in his chapter entitled “Know Thy Time” from his book “The Effective Executive.”

Everything requires time. It is the one truly universal condition. All work takes place in time and uses up time. Yet most people take for granted this unique, irreplaceable, and necessary resource. Nothing else, perhaps, distinguishes effective executives as much as their tender loving care of time.

Effectiveness is not doing more or doing things faster it’s doing what’s most appropriate with the time that you have. It’s understanding your time and the time of others and thinking what is the best use of my time and the time of others. Leaders that are effective start with their time (measuring it and recording it)  then move on to tasks. Leaders who struggle with effectiveness don’t know what tasks that they need to do and therefore don’t use their for the right things –  this leader is in a good place because he knows he needs help. Lastly leaders who think they are effective and aren’t are the most dangerous because they mistake business as effectiveness. They think they are leading well and in the midst of the flurry of activity they produce they end up frustrating themselves and those they lead because they don’t see lasting change or effectiveness from all their efforts. These leaders know what tasks need to be done but don’t manage or see their own time as the valuable commodity that it is as a result they overextend themselves and waste the time of those they lead.

If you want to lead well you have to first manage your time well because if you can’t manage your time well you can’t manage others. If you lead others you have a responsibility to manage your time so that you can be free to help others with their problems and help them see the need to use their time to most effectively mange problems. One of the things I constantly tell our team is we are patient with people and efficient with problems never the other way around. Leaders that think they are busy and don’t manage their time well are typically efficient with people.

If you lead anyone on any level here is a question you need to ask from time to time. “What do i do that wastes your time without contributing to your effectiveness?”

We all want to make a difference. We all want our work to matter. We as leaders at every level and in every field need to remember that we are not the masters of our own fate we are stewards of the grace that we have been given. Love how
1 Peter 4:11 puts it “whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed, nothing else can be managed. The analysis of one’s time, moreover, is the one easily accessible and yet systematic way to analyze one’s work and to think through what really matters in it. – Peter Drucker

Want to be a better leader instantly? Manage your time. Let’s use the time the God has given us to be as effective as we can where He has placed us.

Why many leaders don’t make a difference

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One of the blessings of working in the same church for 17 years is I can see where I made a difference in my church and were I have fallen short. I have many times operated in an environment where the lack of organizational clarity lead me down a path that wasn’t helpful. I have also contributed to the lack of organizational clarity for others. For years I had a very narrow understanding of what my job was. I felt that it was to create fun places for kids and teens to learn. That is a part of my job a very small part.

4 tips on getting the right things done everyday

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In this chapter Drucker explains the one thing that is universal is time. He says it is a scarce resource unless we mange it. The result of not managing it is nothing else in our life can be managed. We as leaders, parents and pastors have to figure out how much time we have so that we do in the time we have what really matters in this life and the next.

Everything requires time. It is the one truly universal condition. All work takes place in time and uses up time. Yet most people take for granted this unique, irreplaceable, and necessary resource. Nothing else, perhaps, distinguishes effective executives as much as their tender loving care of time.

Drucker, Peter F.  The Effective Executive  HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

What is effectiveness?

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This question gets asked more than many questions because people want to know how well they are doing. I don’t care if you are a CEO of a fortune 500 company or a stay at home mom each of us desires to know if we are being effective. I recently re-read a book called “The Effective Executive” by Peter Drucker. Drucker opens the book by defining what effectiveness is. He says effectiveness is not doing things right it is the ability to get the right things done.

He explains that effectiveness is not a secret to be discovered it is rather a habit to be formed. I thought I would do a few posts breaking down some of the big thoughts around the 5 practices that Drucker says effective people practice.

Those 5 habits of the mind are:

1. Effective executives know where their time goes.
2. Effective executives focus on outward contribution they gear their efforts to results rather than to work3. Effective executives build on their strengths
4. Effective executives concentrate on the few major areas where superior performance will produce outstanding results.
5. Effective executives make effective decisions.