In my practice, one of the questions I am asked most frequently by my clients is "how do I get it all done?"
Leaders are pulled in many directions: direct reports and other team members need attention and direction, peers need time for alignment, customers and partners need engagement – and family needs love and attention. And then there is the “real” work every successful leader wants to be focusing on: developing vision, devising strategy, generating thought leadership, producing content, and more.
So how do you find the time and energy to do everything expected of you? My short answer is "You can't."
This recurring question from my clients reminded me of an article from the Harvard Business Review titled "Reclaim Your Job". Written by two business and leadership professors in 2004, it is still critically applicable today.
The authors studied hundreds of leaders as they went about their daily work in a variety of settings over five years. What they found is that most leaders’ success is inhibited by "a deep uncertainty about acting according to their own best judgment." Rather than focusing on what they believe is the right set of priorities, 90 percent of leaders studied instead "spin their wheels doing what they presume everyone else wants them to do.”
Despite having clear personal objectives and the knowledge required to fulfill their goals, these leaders found themselves focused instead on the expectations of others and lost sight of their own internal voice, compass, and agenda.
The authors found that the most effective leaders in their study were purposeful, trusted their own judgment and adopted long-term, big-picture views to fulfill personal goals that align with organizational goals.
More broadly, they found that successful leaders were able to "break out of their perceived boxes, take control of their jobs, and become more productive" by managing demands, generating resources and recognizing and exploiting alternatives.
Do you feel like you need to break out of your own box? Do you want to reclaim your internal voice, compass and agenda? My leadership development coaching can help you take control of your job, craft your organizationally-aligned agenda, and use your capabilities to drive it to completion.
Please feel free contact me for a complimentary conversation about your challenges and how I can help.