Where’s Your Focus?

As someone in or close to a leadership role you clearly are good at what you do.  Otherwise you would not be viewed as a leader.

Yet one thing I have noticed over the years is that there is often a disconnect between the role someone in a leadership is expected to do and what they actually do.

If you think about it this is not that surprising.  Up until you move into a leadership role you were recognised and promoted based on your ability to get things done.

Often it was you who was very much part of the process of driving things forward.  You might actually have been quite hands on.  At times it was only your extra push that made things happen.

As a manager you were very focused on the here and now.  A lot of what you did was operational and implementation.  Vitally important work.

You step into a leadership role and it all feels very different.  Now you are expected to be a lot more hands off.  There is an even greater focus in bringing out the best in others.  You are more of a facilitator or orchestrator than the person doing the work or playing the instruments.

Your job is less about implementation and running processes and more about strategy and moving things forward.

In reality many struggle with this.

You have to learn to work in a very different way.  You have to be extremely wise about where you invest your time and energies.  You need to be willing to let go, stand back and let others deliver.

So in many ways it’s vital that you have the right focus.  To achieve this you:

Need to know what your success will be measured on.  Sometimes those that leaders report to are not so great at setting goals and expectations.  So you may well have to drive the discussion.

Need to determine what the key contributors to achieving the results that you are expected to deliver.

Need to plan where you are going to invest your time and energies so that you don’t end up getting distracted and spending a lot of time on time fillers rather than key priorities.

Need to make sure you take the time to assess where you actually spend your time against where you should spend your time.

Is all of this easy?  Well actually no.  It’s really tempting to get stuck into what’s familiar.  Not least because you probably quite enjoy it.

On the other hand if you want to be effective and successful as a leader you have to focus in what matters.

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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