Leadership: Set Your Priorities And Find Your Balance

As leaders we must understand that our actions express our priorities. When we allow our ambition to take over, we can sometimes lose sight of what matters.

Has your work become more important than your relationships?

Do you find it harder to take time off from work, or even to pull yourself away at the end of the day?

Are you losing touch with people and things that are important to you because you never seem to have time for them?

When our priories are askew, we’re thrown off balance…

And, as you know if you’ve ever tried to push a grocery cart with a bad wheel, even a small area of unbalance affects everything around it.

In this area, as with others, change begins with an honest appraisal of ourselves—not just how our work affects others, but how it affects us in every area of life.

One way to measure how well your priorities are working is to look at your personal balance in some important areas:

Am I Physically energized:  Do you do physical activity to keep yourself shinning with vitality?

Am I Mentally focused: Do you do non-work-related reading or other mental workouts, so it can result intuition and inspiration.

Am I Ethically consistent: Do you live your life encompassing your core convictions, so you can be steady and stable in your integrity.

Am I Emotionally connected:  Do you maintain an emotional connection with your inner and outer being, so you can create more meaningful connections.

Am I Spiritual Aligned:  Are you giving yourself the time for inner discovery and inner reflection, so you be your own source of influence and incentive.

Attention to each of these areas is vital to for alignment and connection to self:

Physical exercise gives us more energy to spend on the things we care most about. Mental activity keeps our thinking nimble and frees us up to see the bigger picture. Emotions and spirituality help us maintain healthy connections with ourselves and the world around us.

It’s all to easy to lose sight of our priorities. To keep them in focus, remember the difference between what is urgent and what is important and putting what’s important first.

The secret is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.

That process begins with identifying what is most important and knowing what brings meaning and then going out and doing it.

Lead from within: A heart-based leader is one who knows when to set aside the urgent things in order to accomplish the vital ones and thus creating the balance of a leader.

 


N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Additional Reading you might enjoy:

 

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

33 Responses to “Leadership: Set Your Priorities And Find Your Balance”

  1. Takis Athanassiou

    02. Apr, 2013

    Excellent article Lolly. One of the best I have read on the subject. Short, essential and on the point. Thank you for share.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Alli Polin

    02. Apr, 2013

    I’ve noticed that while I do a great job with some areas, I’m more willing to put myself at the bottom of the list in others. When that happens, it makes for a bumpy ride. “Set aside urgent to accomplish the vital” resonates with me. Balance isn’t a perfect end-state to shoot for but it is always filled with choices along the journey. Thanks, Lolly ~ going to block out some time on my schd NOW!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Martina

    02. Apr, 2013

    Good post Lolly, as always.

    Yes, we should know our priorities, so that we can schedule them. This of course means that we must take the time to know ourselves and figure out what is truly important to us. Taking the time for self-examination will reveal what out true priorities should be, and we can balance and schedule our world from that perspective.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      02. Apr, 2013

      Martina,

      you are so right when you say…. first we must make the time to know ourselves and figure out what is truly important to us. Taking the time for self-examination will reveal what out true priorities should be, and we can balance and schedule our world from that perspective.

      Thanks for your added wisdom much appreciate YOU!

      Reply to this comment
  4. Wayne McEvilly

    02. Apr, 2013

    Lolly:
    As always with your posts, there is a magnet drawing us to the necessity to go within – when I consider your question “Are you giving yourself the time for inner discovery and inner reflection, so you be your own source of inspiration?” it has the force of centrality. Without it, nothing else will “go” – it is this emphasis on the centrality of going within that first attracted me to your philosophy and which which draws me back again and again. The deeper we journey within, the better we can serve others and ourselves.
    Thank you.
    I always look forward to your posts and to the weekly gathering at leadfromwithin.
    Wayne

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      02. Apr, 2013

      You are so correct my friend when you say, The deeper we journey within, the better we can serve others and ourselves.

      I am so happy when you share your thoughts with us Wayne, you bring a deeper element to most of my thoughts and you make them grounded in soul.
      Thanks for your contribution it is so worthy!

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  5. Marcy Field

    02. Apr, 2013

    Lolly:
    Enjoyed reading your post this morning.
    Simple but true wisdom in the statement –
    “The secret is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
    Thanks for providing insights that cause me to pause, reflect and adjust.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      02. Apr, 2013

      Marcy,

      Our secrets shall set us free….

      Thanks for stopping by and supporting the message of prioritizing.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  6. Vincent Nguyen

    02. Apr, 2013

    I’ll admit, Lolly, lately I’ve really been having my priorities everywhere. Like you mentioned in your article, I find it hard to put away the work to just focus on other things.

    I’m not sure if I understand urgency anymore even though I have a list titled “Priorities” on my Evernote account. Even once I get EVERYTHING urgent done, I can’t pull myself away from work because my brain tells me there’s always more to be done!

    Lately I’ve also been neglecting my physical and spiritual health. I stopped going to the gym, I stopped meditating, and I stopped journaling consistently.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Terri Klass

    02. Apr, 2013

    What a great post, Lolly! I was intrigued with the twist on words-“The secret is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities”. I think it is true that we tend to make up a to do list before reflecting on what is critical for our body and mind. But stepping back and looking inwards can empower us to do what we should be doing. Thanks again. Terri

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      02. Apr, 2013

      Terri,
      … its all about discipline from within to move forward on the outside….. a wisdom that is the essence of lead from within!

      See you tonight?
      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  8. dawoodchishti

    02. Apr, 2013

    Lolly,
    Being deeply connected to your Self, you have once again produced a remarkable post. May continue to cherish your work!

    Reply to this comment
  9. 4Paths2Wellness

    02. Apr, 2013

    Great blog and we’re often guilty of that. Sometimes it’s all or nothing with us. We have to learn to find a time for everything.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Daymond Lopez

    02. Apr, 2013

    Definitely in a world like today, it is imperative to establish an order, to face the every day challenges without lose sight of our true values and principles.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Dr. Ada

    03. Apr, 2013

    Thanks for the reminder Lolly. Totally agree on the need for “time for inner discovery and inner reflection.” It is in the reflective moment that any learning and change happen. It’s also there where we find our deepest values which should help guide us on deciding our priorities. Great post!

    Reply to this comment
  12. Greg Marcus

    03. Apr, 2013

    Hi Lolly – we can never get too many reminders to check that our priorities are aligned with our values. I have written a book on the subject, and still find myself drifting back into old habits of working too much, and focusing on my family too little.

    I find that firm, unbreakable boundaries work best for me, which force me to fit work around family, and not the other way around.

    Thanks for another great reminder!

    Reply to this comment
  13. Dave Tumbarello

    03. Apr, 2013

    Your summary of the discussion is valuable to me. Thank you. I think about your list I immediately think about the social connections. And you write so much in your introduction – is you work out of balance with your relationships? And isn’t that what life is all about? Being in tune with our abilities and values, and then going into the world to make a difference in the lives of those around us.

    Reply to this comment
  14. David Hain

    03. Apr, 2013

    Great post as usual Lolly. Your analogy and suggestions make so much sense and deserve reflection from all of us.

    At the risk of trivialising your insight, it would be easy to formulate your criteria into a wheel picture with some kind of scale, using this to assess the current picture and plan to realign as required. It would make for a great reflection tool and coaching programme.

    Thanks as ever for making me think about important stuff!

    Warm wishes

    David

    Reply to this comment
  15. Katie Donohue

    03. Apr, 2013

    Love this post. I am going to post these questions on my mirror to keep it front and center each day. Easy way to keep balance on my mind !

    Reply to this comment
  16. Jon Mertz

    03. Apr, 2013

    A great checkpoint list, Lolly. It is not only complete, it is one that ensures we are on the right path. When we tire, we are in danger of getting spiritually and ethically misaligned. It is so important to include those elements as a balance check. Really spot-on post! Jon

    Reply to this comment
  17. michael sanders

    04. Apr, 2013

    Thanks for the sharing of information, and the search for my personal center

    Reply to this comment
  18. Anthony Beardsell

    04. Apr, 2013

    My experience of spending 10 years neglecting my relationships and my inner self to then realise at the end of it that, whilst I was materially well off, I actually had nothing that was important is testament to what you are saying. I realised what was important just in time and I still have that hunger for success.

    Reply to this comment
  19. Dorothy Dalton

    06. Apr, 2013

    Excellent reminder to find balance.

    Reply to this comment
  20. Tom Rhodes

    07. Apr, 2013

    In todays world of higher expectarions finding balance is harder but more important than ever. If your priorities do not include those that count on you to assist in their growth like your children and your friends you will never have true balance or success.

    Reply to this comment
  21. Jean Beaudry

    14. Apr, 2013

    I have found Jesus Christ in my center, in my core, I need to look no more. But to listen and hear what his spirit is saying to me. All that you say is correct but give Him glory when you find Him. That is the key to maturity and growth. Otherwise Ego will grow beyond your capacity to carry thus fall. Pride comes before the fall. May we all find true humility and remain content in that place UNDER His reign.

    Reply to this comment
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