One of the key reasons that executives and business owners are overloaded and swamped is because they in the habit of and continue to fill their day with tasks that could easily be completed by their team. Effective leaders know that they are the rainmaker of their business – that is they are the ones who have the responsibility to build and drive their success – they are the ones their customers and teams rely on to create a thriving enterprise.
A good leader has, as one of their leadership qualities, a scheduled regular review of what they are focused on and how they are spending their time. This is part of good time management practice together with a focus on planning and organising that effective leaders recognise as a key criteria for success.
These are some of the areas that some of my clients have changed their focus on with great results – a steady stream of new clients, great referrals, more revenue, happier and more engaged teams, more time to oversee their business and work on building sustainability into their business and more time for them and their loved ones:
Assign specific amounts and schedule time for marketing and growth: Identify and align with businesses that work in the same market and through which you can offer your products or services to help them better service their clients; seek referrals from clients and when clients do refer acknowledge them by offering them a small gift or a discount on their next purchase; hire experts to help you target advertising and lead generation on the internet or through more traditional channels; network with other aligned but different businesses to generate leads.
Assign key tasks to build competency in your team: Growing competency or leveraging your team means letting go of some of the work you do because you are the most experienced and these customers are used to working with you. By giving your team the opportunity to take on and complete more challenging work, your staff are challenged and learning they are more engaged, happier, productivity increases and they are more likely to stay with your company. Spending time mentoring them to take on this work will focus you on building your leadership capability, increase your ability to manage and improve performance and increase the capacity and capability of your team.
Let go of time consuming tasks that others can do: Assess how much time you are spending on activities such as scheduling work, liaising and following up with customers on work progress or suppliers on delivery, working on projects such as finding new premises, remodelling to house an expanding team, redesigning your website and so on. If you have an office manager or other administrative staff think about how you might delegate this work. This would provide an opportunity for them to grow and take on more responsibility. If you do not have such a person, then perhaps it is time you considered getting one.
Outsource to experts: Is your time consumed with tasks such as book-keeping, payroll, recruitment administration, invoicing and looking after the IT infrastructure? Time to think about how this might be not only delegated to office manager/administrative team member to over see this but also to consider outsourcing the delivery to experts who can do this for you. Not only these support functions but if you are an internet based business what about copy-writing, lead generation and advertising.
Ring fence time spent on distractions: We all have information overload with exciting offers, interesting reads and competitor scanning being some of the key areas of interest. It is very easy, especially if your email notifications are on, to be distracted by an interesting headline. Getting distracted in this way is one of the easiest ways to have time slip through your fingers and lose traction on those important revenue generating activities that is the bread and butter of the rain-maker of the business. The most effective way to deal with this is to set aside some time once or twice a week, where you can browse and follow up. Rarely is anything like this so important that not attending to it now will cause things to go awry.
If you are harbouring some vision or ideas for a sea-change in your life and are stuck or have no idea what to do to make it come to life, then talk to me I might be able to help.