Efficiency Through Leadership Presence
A lot has been written, studied and taught in the last decade about leadership presence. Much of the reasoning behind it is that it works. Carrying what appears to be more than confidence is really the sought after, subtle ability. Sure it helps get people’s attention and quick alignment but we’re after a deeper use here – efficiency. Hang in there in this post and the week’s worth of videos and we should get you to a point to become more efficient and carry more leadership presence as a result. And perhaps most of all, I want to challenge your ideas about time management as the bastion of efficiency.
Perhaps you are one of the leaders who tirelessly gives and then gives some more. Especially if you are sacrificing a lot at home and work so that both are better off through your leadership and the collective efforts you lead. You and others may say you burn the candle at both ends. You and this concept have limits. So if you’ve been trying to be more efficient with your time and energy, let’s lay a foundation with a free practice. Download your free copy by clicking here.
This practice needs a little higher order framing before you just dive in though. In the video I cover these 3 big ideas:
- Planning does not equal efficiency
- Presence is helpful
- Come back to here
The shift and big benefit that is realizing there is so much more available in this moment than you are taking advantage of presently. This first free practice will help you get a better sense of this. So jump right and get your free practice here.
As we come to grips with the idea that better time management might not be the best or only way to balance your work and life, we start to examine our beliefs in time. This can still be quite practical. In fact, a cursory look at some initial beliefs and perceptions could really unlock some needed relief for you.
At the core of this video is to add clarity to the broad idea of “be here, now”. Sounds great and many leaders would love to live this but see no practical way to enact this nor can they realize the promise of lower stress and greater efficacy as a leader.
We tackle 3 ideas in the video to extend our foundation from the previous video:
- What is your orientation to managing commitments?
- You can do it all, just not right now
- Quality of your presence, NOT more time
If you are looking for some methods to gain better work-life balance, then watch the video and schedule a block of time to work with these ideas.
This week’s deep dive requires quite a bit of reflection and self-awareness in your fundamental views on time and what is valuable to you. The reason you take this tact to solving what appears to be a time management problem, is that overscheduling typically doesn’t happen overnight. Because of this, there are likely some underlying traps you probably keep setting for yourself and this need not happen.
Time pressure also robs us of our intellect and being able to see bigger patterns. This is all the more reason to step back momentarily and take a critical look at things.
What Do You Think Is Most Helpful?
When there is a high demand for your time and attention but you feel stressed about it you are not likely to look at this question critically. However, I encourage you to take a pause and really work through this one. Do you think that getting it all done is most helpful? Do you think getting everything in on time, despite being rushed, exhausted or distracted leads to an on time delivery?
These can be difficult questions to answer, especially when you’re worried about how the future will shape up. Getting things to work out perfectly and to synchronize as planned is pretty impractical as uncertainty and complexity increase in your leadership environment. This is key: as a leader, what is your greatest impact, value and help you provide?
Once you reaquaint yourself with this notion in your current situation, let’s move to the next inevitable challenge…
How Do You View Schedule Conflicts?
As the environment you are leading people through becomes more complex, it also becomes more likely that all constraints cannot be met, particularly with respect to time. So, understanding and getting better at handling schedule conflicts and rescheduling priorities becomes a crucial task.
Although many people still hold to the notion of equating top performance with hitting schedule, this becomes a bigger hindrance as more and more things fall out of your control and small moves start to cascade into larger problems. These are classic hallmarks of a complex and open system where we are trying to make it a simple and closed system.
It is really becomes difficult as the Western and particularly Protestant work ethic in the US conflicts with reality because we so often equate effort with results and at a deeper level, personal value.
If you find that chasing perfection is equated to your own worth, then working through this and getting more clarity on what you, as a leader, really bring to the table is so important. Hopefully these 2 questions open you up to critical examination of allowing more in rather than further constraint and pouring more of your precious time and energy into something that will have you busy but leaving your actual leadership impact more to chance than anything else.
What Happens If You Do Nothing?
As stress mounts, our focus and cognitive abilities tend to narrow to an unhelpful level. Yes, in a crisis where life is actually at stake, this can be a useful response. But narrowed focus and reduced cognitive leadership over weeks and months is counter-productive.
So, even if it seems impractical and maybe your mind is screaming at the ridiculous notion of doing nothing, the gulf between your reaction and a well thought out, logical analysis of your need in a 24 hour period is quite telling.
The reason this is so telling is highly dependent on your self-awareness and ability to look at both logic and what you’re stressed response is. I’m not saying that it is necessarily practical to do nothing but I am saying that closely watching your reaction and then comparing to a cool, logical walk down this thought process can point to a lot of areas to further test if it is an opinion or a fact.
To go one step further, the window of opportunity to solve complex problems are typically quite short-lived, very narrow and subtle. Freeing yourself up for some mental capacity to be looking for just such an opportunity quite likely is the difference between stressing as the ship goes down and seeing a winning solution when it appears.
Not Sure What To Do Next?
These are not easy questions to tackle and become quite difficult as stress and pressure mount. All of this is compounded with the potential that working through this may be outside of what you know how to navigate to your satisfaction. As leaders, we face varying levels of these conflicts often. However, if this time is pinching you and you want to work a solution in a new way, then I invite you to schedule an intake session and try out coaching for 30 days, risk free. If for no other reason than to arm you with a fresh new angle at least and at best a whole new domain to your leadership to handle this better and more.
Work-life balance has been a growing concern for quite a few years and usually it is self-referencing. That means you care about your problem and see it from your perspective. Well in this section and the accompanying video we are flipping it so that those around a leader having trouble balancing this can have some meaningful ways to help. My sincere hope is that these strategies can lower frustration, build connection and drop some useless stress out of people’s lives, not just a leader.
The rest of the series deals more with the roots of how the imbalance got there and is perpetuated. And this latter part is where other people can help weaken the grip of the imbalance. In the video I work with 3 ideas and some additional guidance in implementing any of them:
- They can’t say no? Convert empty time
- Apathetic? Tone down intensity
- Shame & guilt backfire. Affirm where possible
The whole idea is to help them get more into the present moment so the quality of their time is improved before trying to get more time. Preoccupation outside of the present moment can be quite wasteful because it misses action and experience right now while working with a situation in the future they likely have little control over. I sincerely hope these help.
I realize that is a pretty bold claim. However, in this second, free practice I give you a way to not only get more work-life balance but also build a capability so whatever you do is fueled with more presence and intent.
As we close out this week of posts, this free capstone practice provides a platform for you to experiment and grow while gaining back time you can use away from work. As the impact compounds over the next couple of weeks, it should provide a real amount of time back to you as well as the ground work for a long-term capability to maintain a much more satisfying work-life balance.
Ok, no more delays. Watch the video and download your free practice. Get going because your whole life needs you and you want to be there for all of it!
All my best,
Russell Lindquist, Founder & Principal
Russell is a Certified Integral Professional Coach™. I help leaders and entrepreneurs break through plateaus, earn more respect and move on to their next level of success. 80% of my clients take on more responsibility with less stress, more success, and half of them get a promotion or earn more money within 6 months of completing their program. www.tessagen.com