The Think, Be and Do of Leadership.
Something Jan and I talk a lot about in our consulting role with business owners and leaders, is the Think, Be, Do principle. You see as a Leader or THE Leader in your business there is always a lot of stuff to do, isn’t there? In fact, some days, weeks or even months, can seem overwhelming because of the amount of stuff you have to do. And if you are good at what you do, that can make things worse, because people will give you even MORE stuff to do.
Sometimes you take that on willingly because you want to help others, we see a lot of ‘people pleasing’ going on in some of our clients. Other times you take it on because ‘no-one else knows how to do it’ or ‘no-one else can do this as well as I can’. In yet other cases, you just think it would be quicker to sort it out yourself – ‘it’ll only take a minute’. But that minute turns into 30, as do the other 3 extra things you added to your ‘To Do’ list and suddenly you are working past 8 pm and you still haven’t got to the original things on the list.
Well – I want you to STOP. Yes – I mean right now.
Because very often the things we are ‘doing’ in our business, are not the things we really ought to be doing. If you are being busy and not achieving much, then you are probably doing the wrong things. And that will, in most cases, be because we are not BEing the Leader, and that is because we haven’t given ourselves time to think.
Take 5 minutes to do this little test.
Write down everything you have done today – I mean every task, every phone call, every internet search. When you have written that list, look at it really honestly and tick ONLY the ones that it is not possible for someone else to do. It doesn’t count if you can do it best, or if you don’t believe you have someone to delegate it to. I mean that theoretically – it is physically possible – for someone else to do it.
Whatever you have ticked – is probably what you should be doing and all the unticked ones are stuff that you really should NOT be doing.
“Ah but Julie I don’t have anyone capable / I don’t have the time to train someone up / I can’t ask someone to (make me a cup of tea/go to the dry cleaners for me/answer my emails)”.
I hear you. And I empathise….NOT.
Because they are all excuses! If you are too busy, then your job as the leader is not just to keep going and hope that one day you will get to the end of the to-do list. Your job is to start thinking like a Leader.
In order to be a Leader – you need to think like a Leader. That means you need to look at things in a different way. You need to take time to step out of the daily grind – as often as possible and at least once a day – and have a reality check with yourself (if there is no-one else in your business you can share with). What would Richard Branson do right now with YOUR massive To Do List? What do YOU want to do with it?
Once you give yourself time to step out and look in objectively – you begin to think as a leader. And once you are thinking like a leader you can then really BE a leader, and start to DO the things that leaders do.
Your staff, your suppliers, your JV partners and anyone else who relies on you, don’t NEED you to do the stuff that they can do. They need you to do the stuff that ONLY you can do. Does that make sense? Which mean getting your head out of the doing, and into the thinking.
Now sometimes it is hard to see what you should and should not be doing. And sometimes you can see it, but you just keep doing it anyway because it is easier – it is your comfort zone, and, frankly, you are the boss so no-one is going to hold you accountable for changing.
If that is the case, and you feel that some accountability or at least an objective outside view might help, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s schedule a complimentary strategy session, to look at how you can change what you are doing.
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Julie Hutchison is co-Director with Jan Sargent of Transforming Performance, a consultancy which provides businesses with expert support in Leadership Coaching, Team Development and Performance Coaching, Executive Coaching, Mentoring, Training and Behavioural Profiling and help in getting the best from you and your people. If you’d like to have a chat and a coffee to discuss how we can help you, we’d love to talk. Call us on:
01722 484155 or 07947 823842