Sunday, January 4, 2009

Doing too much?

Last Christmas I received a calendar from a dear friend of mine entitled: Women Who Do Too Much. I finished it up this year on Dec. 31 and what I found is that not only, yep, I do too much, but that I was also trying to do too much all by myself. Oddly enough, that is not a very good leadership principle, particularly for someone who teaches leadership of both yourself and others. Here is what I found in a year of reading up on Women Who Do Too Much. (and hey, this applies to men, too!)

Contagious Leaders delegate well and often:
If you are doing too much - just flat out staying busy, instead of being truly productive and purposeful - you may find that you are missing opportunities. (that is, provided you stand still long enough to be able to notice what you are missing) When you, as a Contagious Leader, delegate tasks and projects, and take the time to explain:
  • the importance of the project
  • the details in a way that the person to whom you are delegating understands
  • the timeline of completion or milestones

then you are truly helping someone else grow, while taking something off of YOUR list, but ALSO getting more done by sharing the work and employing the efforts, talents, and skills of others.

Contagious Leaders who try to do it all, all the same time, and all by themselves, they limit their own success by the mere number of hours in the day and your own physical efforts. There is a lot we can do in a little time, truly, but the constant running, buzzing, and stressed out craze of being busy will diminsh your productivity, make you work slower, and in effect, force you to get less done.

As I reflected on this year of doing alot (as I would likely really say it was a LOT or rather not enough, instead of too much), it occurs to me that although I did a lot, there are some questions that are begging to be asked:

  1. Did I do the right things?
  2. Did I do them at the right time?
  3. Was I just busy all the time or was I acheiving those things that mattered most?
  4. Am I happy with where I am at the end of the year of "doing so much"?

As a Contagious Leader, step back and reflect on your own answers to these questions. And before you jump into the 4 billion emails tomorrow, the pile of voicemails, and the stuff you tossed in a box before you left for the holidays... consider this: what is your strategy for 2009. This may be a more important question to ask, instead of 'what's next on my "to-do" list'?

Stay Contagious!

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