Effective Leaders Manage Time

According to the old saying, both the most successful and the most effective men have 24 hours in a day. However, the main difference is in how they manage their time. Over thirty years of experience working with corporate and organizational leaders, it has been clear to me that how they use their time is not the most important factor in determining whether or not they are effective. Mike McGahan CLV Group is often directly linked to how efficient and effective an individual manages his/her time.

Although time management seems simple, it is one of our most valuable assets. This is especially troubling because, while it is possible to make more money, it is not possible to recover lost time. To be more productive and make the most of their time, people should use these steps:

1. It is important to take enough time ahead of time to assess your needs. It is a waste of time when people rush into activities, thinking that they are saving time. This lack of preparation is often the biggest waste of time.

2. Prepare for contingencies by having backup plans and “Plan B” options. Leaders who are inefficient and wasteful often act like they have “blinders,” not wanting to see what might happen or afraid to think about it. Fear is a major factor in wasting time, as I’ve seen. Years ago, I was often criticized for insisting on multiple contingency plans. Others said that I worried too much or that it wasn’t necessary. However, I realized that the most ridiculous responses I got were those who said I was wasting my time planning. When done correctly, planning is actually a time-saver. It takes much less time to plan correctly and do it correctly, than to “catch up” later.

3. Multi-taskers are the best leaders. Leaders who are able to do multiple things and manage several tasks simultaneously are the most effective. Leaders who are better prepared will spend less time.

4. For meetings, create detailed agendas. Respect the time and allow for new business when necessary. The most productive leaders are those who can effectively use parliamentary procedure and understand it.

5. Communicate your vision clearly and with detail. This will give you direction and a plan for action that deters time wasting.

Effective time management and usage should be a part of any Leadership Training program. This skill requires discipline and knowledge. Anybody who is unable to manage his time effectively will struggle to lead. A casual observer may believe that a leader who is “busy” is effective, but the only way to determine true effectiveness is to see what is achieved and how many times it is repeated.