Monica Wofford is a leadership development expert and author of the weekly leadership blog post called the Monday Moment.

Is Leading about time, about being on time, or just in time…or not really about time at all?

Oh the ways in which you could read that title. How much of leading is about one’s mindset of time, particularly when most leaders tell me their time does a better job of managing them, instead of them managing it. On the title, are we talking about a leading mind, as in a great leader? Are we talking about a mind oriented toward leadership? Or does it mean from this Monday Moment you’ll glean insights about the view of time from someone whose mind is focused on leading. Perhaps it’s best if we examine all three. After all, isn’t this what a leader at any level, considers every moment, daily?

Leading

When in a leadership role, developing others is the primary goal. However, this gets muddied with reports to turn in, meetings to attend, and the often overwhelming abundance of administrivia. Yet, when I teach one of our webinars, Time Management for Too Busy Leaders, the most common question is “how do I get more done?” Leading has been said to focus on accomplishment, but of what one might ask. Steven Covey said “Management is about climbing the ladder. Leadership is about leaning your ladder on the right wall.” Peter Drucker said “Management is about doing things right. Leadership is about doing the right things.” Jack Welch said “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” These are leading minds of recent times on leadership. Clearly they recommended focusing on getting things done and that sense of accomplishment, but are you doing the things that get you described as leading, or as a member of management?

Mind

Whether you do, in fact, have a team, or you’re simply the most extraordinary leader of you and the voices that guide your own being, leading is a mindset. For most, how long you will lead is not literally timed, though nor is one’s time left on this planet regularly considered. But, a leader’s mind still focuses on time. They attend time management classes, fill their lists with many things that at the end of the day don’t matter, and brag about just how busy they are and seem to need to be. When we lead, it’s about time. Time and speed are a part of leading, but are they the part that is leading you. Has the way in which you managed your own time, gotten the best of you? Leading minds focus on what matters in the time they have and teach others to prioritize items that not only populate, but accelerate, empower, and pay respect to their own desired timelines.

Time

The class in philosophy that might prompt you to ponder “what is time?”, exactly, is not where we’re at. The fact that you’ve got time to read this most is a near miracle, in and among all the items that threaten management of your day. People ask me regularly “how do you manage time” and my response, without fail is “You don’t”. What I then say is “You manage the tasks within the time you’ve got and time is a most precious commodity. It’s not for want of balance that you seek, but rather fulfillment and that feeling of having ‘done it’, when you reach your own figurative mountain peak.” Stop counting time as if it were an element over which you had control. Start, instead, leading the achievement of your most important, imperative to your happiness, goals. The other items will find their space, even if it’s merely the crevice between the big rocks and grains of sand that fill up the space in your 24 hour day.

A leader’s mind on time focuses on all three things: how you lead, your mindset about leading your time, and making the most of the time you have. Find time to think about that…today.

I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great week, an even better Monday, and of course, stay contagious!

***Remember Boss’s Day on October 16th with a card for your boss at www.BossesDayCards.com****

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