Monthly Archives: May 2008

Golden Rules of Time Management


No one actually manages time; they only manage how they use their time. More successful people use their time on the things that matter most and on tasks that move them closer to their goals. Consider the following time management tips to see if you can be more effective in how you use your time.

Set Objectives:

Short, medium and long term goals will help you focus on what you want to achieve. When facing a decision about what to do with your time, consider which option takes you closer to any of your goals and focus your effort there.

Delegate:

Depending on your role, you may have the possibility to delegate tasks to other people. You can leverage the extra capacity of other people by giving them tasks that they are better suited than you to achieve.

Learn to Say ‘NO’:

Everyone is busy! Sometimes people try to delegate their workload to YOU! When this occurs, it is important to know how to say ‘No’ assertively without guilt.

– Just politely say ‘No’
– Don’t over justify why you are unable because it sounds like you are being defensive
– If it is your direct manager, outline your current tasks and ask for priority or a change in deadlines
– Consider offering suggestions as to who may be able to help
– Consider offering a future time when you may be able to help

If saying ‘No’ remains difficult, consider reading my blog on assertiveness.

Avoid Procrastination:

This is the art of putting things off until tomorrow. This is a major stumbling block to effectiveness. The main reasons for procrastination are:

– Believing that if you wait, the problem or task will go away
– Avoiding a task that is unpleasant
– Putting off something because you are overwhelmed
– Fear of Failure
– Boredom

Manage Distractions:

– Are you regularly interrupted by unnecessary questions?
– Are you drawn into conversations that are not really productive?
– Are you always receiving telephone calls?
– Do you instantly open a new email?

If you said yes to anything on this list, distractions are reducing productivity. Remove some of these distractions by:

– Turning off the audio alert for your email
– Redirecting your telephone to voice mail
– Announcing that you are working toward a deadline and don’t want to be disturbed
– Have a selective ‘closed door’ policy

Ask for help:

People are socially programmed to help those that ask for help. You may be reluctant to ask for help, however, suffering in silence will probably make things worse.

Your colleagues may be able to help you time manage more effectively. Alternatively, your line manager may discover that you are actually overloaded and be happy that you have identified a problem that would have increased over time.

Dare to Aspire

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The Attributes of Leadership (10)

Conclusion

An effective leader may not need to have all of these attributes in large amounts. Often a leader will have strengths and weakness in each category. What is important is that leader:

  • Recognises their strengths
  • Compensates for their weakness
  • Develops continuously to ensure their personal competitive advantage
  • Focuses on the outcomes of the team
  • Moves the organisation towards the overall vision
  • Works with the team
  • Helps the team help themselves

The most effective leaders are strong communicators with a an ability to motivate and encourage at all levels.

When you consider these attributes and how much of each you possess, you will be able to assess your leadership shortfalls and identify where best to spend effort in your own personal development, Development that will move your toward your goal of becoming a better leader.

Dare to Aspire

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The Attributes of Leadership (9)

Humility

Humility is the attribute that balances arrogance with confidence. Effective leaders know they do not have exclusive ownership of wisdom and there are many solutions to most problems. They recognise that there will always be something new to learn and that others in the team are able to make a valuable contribution.

They achieve this by:

  • Being courteous in dealings with others
  • Listening to others views and opinions
  • Building on the experience and contribution of others

A leader with humility actively encourages contributions from team members and seeks to use their qualities and skills to the full. A good leader does not feel threatened by the diversity of the group. They see this as a source of strength because people of different backgrounds bring fresh perspectives. By publicly acknowledging the contribution of the team and individuals they instil trust and commitment in achieving more successes.

An effective leader treats others with a high level of respect, valuing the input of others and always encouraging and exploring their views. They listen actively and equally to all members of their team.

Strong leaders recognise the importance of setting a personal example, recognising that their position as leader is about making an active contribution to the team solution as well as encouraging team members to take action toward that solution..

As the leader, they accept any of the blame and non of the credit for any team achievement. The best leader has a team that says ‘Look at what we have achieved!’

This requires a high level of self confidence and flexibility, allowing them to react quickly and moderate their own behaviour where necessary. They focus on encouragement not personal involvement, or demonstrating their own prowess.

There is a difficult balance between displaying humility and losing the confidence of self and the team. A leader needs to be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and how they impact on others.

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The Attributes of Leadership (8)

Developmental Focus

The long-term success of an organisation depends on having a skilled and motivated workforce. Development must be available to all according to their needs and the requirements of the organisation. This should remain a key responsibility of leaders at every level of the organisation and can be achieved by:

  • Recognising and rewarding achievement
  • Development of professional knowledge and skills
  • Self development
  • Developing people
  • Careful delegation

Effective leaders with good developmental skills focus first on individuals, encouraging them to develop their interest and supporting them in developing the skills and capabilities they need. They enable their staff and encourage them to build their knowledge, understanding and confidence, by giving them the challenges that they need to develop.

Constructive feedback is an essential management and leadership skill and team members should be given guidance on how they have performed and coached on how to improve their future performance.

As well as individual development, an effective leader also focuses on the development of the team. They are prepared to accept new people into the team, identifying their development needs and ensuring a rapid integration into the team. The leader will seek to unlock potential, understanding that people develop at different speeds. .

An effective leader encourages and supports others in their development. They set stretching targets, delegate work, foster initiatives and encourage individuals to learn from their experience A strong team is created by, training and development opportunities as well as coaching and mentoring allowing people to grow to their full potential.

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The Attributes of Leadership (7)


Professional Knowledge

A leader with sound professional knowledge will be committed to continued professional development. They have a depth and breath of knowledge gained through experience supported by a strong habit of broad deep continuous education. They are able to set this knowledge in a professional context maximising its benefit for the team and the organisation. They achieve this by:

  • Continual Professional Development
  • Maintaining expertise and knowledge in their functional competencies
  • A commitment to continuous learning

For a leader sound professional knowledge is gained through education, training and personal experience. This growth should not just be focused in a narrow parochial area, but should be broad, deep and eclectic.

A leader that develops their own expertise is more likely to identify personal and team bias and so be less vulnerable to the influences of those who have their own agenda to progress. A broader understanding of the world around you helps you to distinguish between authentic and make-believe experts.

Knowledge is only useful however when it is translated into action or shared among those who can use it, your team.

An effective leader actively keeps staff and colleagues aware of developments and changes in the business environment. A leader’s most effective use of such knowledge and information is to shape the future direction of policy whilst understanding the consequences of these policy changes on the people and environment.

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The Entrepreneur Book Summary

I have just completed another book summary.

Hope you find it useful.

The Entrepreneur by William Heinecke

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The Attributes of Leadership (6)

Innovation

Innovation is the outcome of thought and observation fed by a continuous stream of information. Some leaders have the talent for original ideas. More often they should draw inspiration from the team, recognising that there is more than one way of doing things and expertise often lies at lower levels.

Innovation is a product of imagination, creative thinking and persistent action. Knowledge and experience also support innovation. A leader with an innovative spirit sees the flaws in existing products, procedures and policies. They also look for opportunities to improve something, even if it is doing a job adequately. They create a climate that encourages minds to be open and ever alert to a fresh approach. They achieve this by:

  • Encouraging innovation and diversity
  • Encouraging involvement
  • Balancing risk and imaginative solutions
  • Promoting continuous improvement
  • Seizing opportunities
  • Embracing change
  • Encouraging people to take risks and make mistakes

An innovative leader creates a climate that encourages minds to be open and ever alert to a fresh approach. They have a willingness to take risks and to experiment with many alternatives.

It may be a cliché but a leader will think ‘outside the box’ and encourage others to do the same. They keep a fresh mind to new ideas, actively encouraging their team to develop and express ideas free from the fear of censure or ridicule.

Not all innovation is welcomed by those affected by the change. It may be perceived as a threat – real or imaginary. Effective leaders need to be sensitive to how far and how quickly changes can be made. They must however, still have the energy and personal commitment to put across a compelling proposal and drive any change to completion.

The outcome of innovation should be positive action towards achieving results. Results that are focused on the organisations strategic goals. The leader achieves this by encouraging others to support the innovation, supporting other team members and encouraging staff to take responsibility for their own actions and results.

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