For many the idea of being a leader—of being in charge, of being the boss, of being responsible for a team or a company—seems overwhelming. And frankly, it can be. It’s a big responsibility.
But to be successful, we must be able to get things done and do them well. Leadership is great when leaders are effective and productive.
No one wakes up in the morning and says, “Today I am a leader.”
Leadership is earned, built and cultivated in small steps, with small things done successfully every day.
Emily Dickinson once said, “If you take care of the small things, the big things take care of themselves.”
So how do we take care of the little things so that the big things take care of themselves?
Block out time for mindfulness. When you’re busy, it’s easy for time to run away from you. Before you know it the day, week, month has passed. As a leader it is important to take the time for mindfulness. Identify what is most important to you. Think of the little things you care about the most; determine what is truly meaningful. Determine which actions generate effectiveness and productivity and which are wasting your time. This information will help you with making the hard decisions and doing what is really important.
Guard your time. Your time is your most precious resource; invest it well. Every minute spent on a task is one less minute of your life. Whenever you’re faced with a new potential project or task, ask yourself a simple question: “Does this task help or hurt of what is important to me?” If you feel something takes away time from your goals, then avoid it. Never let another person’s priorities become your own.
Eliminate and delegate. As you look at your list, ask yourself what you can eliminate and what you can delegate. Make sure everything on your personal to-do list is something that either satisfies you or brings you closer to your goals. Don’t spend your energy on things that drain you, but on things you enjoy that bring value to yourself and others.
Don’t add; substitute. Watching the list of things you need to get done slowly grow is incredibly stressful. So when something new comes along, substitute that task for one that’s not generating results. If it’s worth pursuing, substitute it for another task, action or project and make the time for it.
Be honest and prioritize. The best reason for starting small and with what is meaningful is that doing so ensures that you’re being honest with yourself. If you focus on the things you cannot do, or the things that you think should be meaningful rather than the ones that truly are, you’ll find yourself getting nothing done. So be honest as you identify and prioritize the small things that are important to you.
Take care of the little things and the big things will be taken care with ease.
Lead From Within: As leaders with all our responsibilities and our functions, it’s hard to do all things great, but if as leaders we take care of the small things with excellence then we will have accomplished the big things with success.
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.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: Getty Images
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.