I constantly see business leaders fire fighting and way too busy to dedicate time to important matters – like learning and development, business strategic planning, budgeting, reviewing their business model or succession planning. Finding the time is so hard for many business leaders. With looming deadlines, daily tasks and urgent meetings all the rest can often take the back burner.
I always find that the root cause of this is the mindset. I say this, since as humans we always tend to find time for whatever we deem it to be important. No matter how busy we are, if we have a mindset that helps us determine what is really important, we will then find time for it.
So if there is anything I would really hope you chose as your new year resolution – is to change your mindset and adopt a TRUE LEADER’S MINDSET.
Why is a Leader’s Mindset so Important?
Many times I see business leaders, devouting all their time to “Important and Urgent matters (Quadrant I)”. They seem to be living constantly on a fire engine going from one crisis to another.
On the other hand “Important but not Urgent matters (Quadrant II)” are tasks that are often necessary but do not need to be done immediately. Those without a leader’s mindset will likely keep pushing Quadrant II tasks on the back burner.
However someone with a Leader’s mindset resists from spending most of the time on Activities in Quadrant I as they know that focusing on activities in Quadrant II can reduce the activities in Quadrant I, in the long run.
Activities in Quadrant I and Quadrant II may be equally important.Some activities in Quadrant II may even be more important than activities in Quadrant I, but not necessarily more urgent.Activities in Quadrant I assume critical importance and top priority, but remaining constantly focused on activities in Quadrant I will lead to stress and burnout.
Focusing on activities in Quadrant II will mean avoiding all unimportant activities in Quadrant III and IV
Train yourself to adopt a leader’s mindset
To adopt such a mindset you need “train” yourself. It need not be excessively time-consuming. In fact, much of it can be done in the course of your daily work. The important thing is to do a first step and to identify a key leadership area you want to develop. You’re already time-poor, so don’t try to tackle too much at once. Identify no more than two competencies or skills you want to improve – say empathy and emotional resilience, just to mention two areas so integral to leadership. Then approach this as a long term game. Small actions you do every day will be much more effective in the long term, than short bursts of activity.
Then find yourself the most convenient external help you can get. An online training session or frequent short online sessions with a business coach. Anything that matches the developmental area you have identified. Having external help, will help you build commitment to your learning journey and will provide you with key takeaways and ideas to implement into your day.
Get to know yourself well
One thing that fascinates me is that I frequently see business owners or leaders who do no know themselves. Who do not know their strengths and weaknesses and in some instances, especially in family business, whether their place, heart and true interest is in leading the business or not. Getting to know yourself well is definitely one of the great benefits from the the process of adopting a leader’s mindset. Many business owners and leaders are often not aware of their behaviours. As part of adopting a leadership mindset you will learn how to observe the behaviours of those around you, especially the behaviours of those who have already adopted such a mindset. This can teach you the difference between their behaviour and yours, and why such a difference exists.
Becoming a BETTER YOU
Leadership development should be recognised as an ongoing part of professional life. All it takes to become a better leader is dedication and a small investment of time. If this still feels overwhelming, remember this: We mistakenly think that leadership is only important in the workplace. However, research suggests that leadership skills are useful all the time and everywhere. Being a parent or a volunteer — all these roles involve an element of leadership. Leadership skills will create a better version of you.