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Sunday, 25 September 2011

No Time to Spare? Be a Human Being, not a Human Doing!

One of the constant moans that I hear from leaders is that they never have any time to spare and they are always too busy.
The question is: what are they doing with the time that is available to all of us, and why do they not have enough of it?
It is usually a symptom of the “leave it to me – I’ll sort it out” syndrome which means that the leader accepts (and probably enjoys) upwards delegation.  People are usually very happy to get the monkey off their backs and on to someone else’s and the best person to take on that responsibility is, of course, their leader.
The overall result is fire fighting, accepting the tyranny of the urgent and ignoring whether the problem is important or not   If it is neither urgent nor important, then put it on the back burner or ignore it completely.
If it is urgent and important then delegate it to the person who is best competent to deal with it on the basis of monitor progress, measure results, and evaluate together how the outcome was achieved and ask how could it have been improved (if at all).
The one that is the true and sole domain of the leader is the issue which is important but not urgent.  This needs quiet reflection and consideration and demands the valid use of time.  The only person in the business who has to take time out to think is the leader.  If that vital thinking time is absorbed in merely doing things, then any vision of the future will be dulled or even non-existent.
The primary function of the leader is to define the vision and hence the future and that demands the thinking process.

The fact is that many leaders (and many others for that matter) waste vast amounts of valuable time in doing things that are the jobs of other people and should be delegated to them without question.  They then complain about never having enough time for important matters.  Just ask yourself: Whose job am I doing now and why aren’t they doing it?
It isn’t a matter of what leaders do; it is a matter of what they are and how they relate to their people, how they value them and how they constantly encourage them.
To be a human being wastes far less time than being a human doing.  Get other, probably more competent, people to be that.

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