Being a Better Leader Part 4: Focus on What Matters

Organisations need people who thrive on routine.  Organisations need people who are great at making sure things run smoothly.  Organisations need people who get things.  Organisations also need leaders.

As you climb the career ladder and take on more leadership responsibilities, one thing you will notice is that having enough time is often a constant challenge.

It seems like everyone is looking for your advice, support and contribution.

Very quickly you can become overloaded and struggle to do anything well.

Before you know it your confidence takes a dip and it feels like you are on a downward spiral.

Whenever I’m working with a leader or a team of leaders, one of things I seek to identify early on is what I call their key results areas.

Put simply what their success or otherwise is judged on.

Now you might think that this would not be difficult.

In actual fact it is often a huge struggle for leaders to clearly articulate what their key results areas are.

Sometimes they just have never really thought about it.

If they have thought about it, they might never had a conversation with their boss and reached agreement.

Without this level of clarity you are at a distinct disadvantage.

If on the other hand you have that clarity decisions about where you invest your time and energies become much easier.

Rather than trying to guess where you focus, it becomes crystal clear.

Of course sometimes it comes down to a lack of understanding about the role of the leader and what’s different about that role.

A fundamental difference between leading and managing from my perspective is that leading should always be about improvement and moving things forward.

Leaders should in my view be spending about 70% of their time on activities that are about improvement and moving things forward.

How about you?  Are you spending anywhere close to 70% on improvement and moving things forward?

If not then perhaps you need to step back re-focus your attention what matters and what your success will be measured on.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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