“The greatest wood carver in the world does the least cutting”.
Busy leaders exert a great deal of energy. Do Less Leaders are more concerned about outcomes, rather than simply activities.
While it is not complicated to become a Do Less Leader, this does not make it simple. With all this speed and noise around us, many have become seduced to believe that more (activity) is better. More activity is rarely connected to strategic outcomes, often it’s more about “operational busy-ness”.
The signs are all around us. Do you recognize any of the following situations?
Checking emails first thing in the morning, responding to others and emptying the incoming mails before emptying your mind of the ideas you generated overnight or listing your priorities for the day?
Attending a regional or global meeting and being magnetized to your phone on the breaks instead of building relationships with people you rarely see face to face?
Working through your to do lists, (yes, many people I coach have not one but several lists!) and realize that your to do lists have little connect to the strategic plan that you and your team put together?
If any of these scenes look familiar, chances are you’ve fallen into the sea of distractions, which surrounds the island of mediocrity.
Busy leaders often produce mediocre results because they are simply too busy to recognize opportunities in front of them. Often leaders solve problems but fail to dig deeper and wider and create improvements. Busy leaders are distracted and this disrupts connections with others. Several leaders have commented to me, “I’d like to meet more with my people but I have too much to do”.
Here are three steps to become a Do Less (and create more) Leader;
Unclutter your mind. Take time to think. Block time in your calendar to rethink what you are doing and why you’re doing it.
Examine your belief window or your personal operating beliefs. What belief do you fulfil by trying to do everything for everybody? When and why did being busy become a good thing? How can you reconstruct this to do less and create more?
Organize yourself in a new way. Review your to do lists, create a not to do list and work on doing less and creating more. Remember to have the appropriate conversations when this involves others.