If you’re a leader and you’ve struggled to manage all of the demands on your plate, you’re not alone. You have the work that you need to do, the work that you need to oversee, and then you have multiple stakeholders as well. Though the demands are high on leaders, there are ways to approach leadership in a productive way.
The challenge is…how do you reach your goals when you can hardly manage all that’s on your plate? How do you focus on achieving your goals when you have so many people you need to oversee? That is one of the biggest challenges to being a productive leader. It’s hard to stay focused on being productive while I want to keep other people in the loop, move things forward, but also still be in relationship and not feel like I’m constantly letting everybody down.
In this article, I’m going to give you three tips for becoming a productive leader.
1. Have a mission to pursue.
The first step to becoming productive leaders is having a clear mission to pursue. What I mean by a mission to pursue is to have a clear vision and a clear goal. Because the reality is, as a leader, you are going to disappoint people.
One of the first principals who I reported to when I was a teacher said, “If I haven’t disappointed at least one person today, I know that I wasn’t pushing hard enough.” And I love that idea. We’re going to let people down because we’ve got a lot on our plate, but in order to accomplish the important, it means we’re going to have to let go of the unimportant. And the first step in doing that is to determine: “What is the mission to pursue? What is the vision of a preferred future look like?” My friend Cameron Harold calls this a vivid vision: “Where do you want to go? Who do you want to be?” And that’s the first step to becoming a productive leader — having a clear mission.
The way I do this for my own life is the use of a daily affirmation. (Click here to learn more about my daily affirmation process.) The statement includes who I want to be and what I want to be true in my life six months from now. I listen to a recorded affirmation every single day. As I listen to it and see the six-month gap, my brain finds a way to close that gap a little bit more each day. My brain says, “Oh yeah, those are my most important goals to focus on. What can I do to close that gap and make that affirmation my reality? What can I do today to get closer to accomplishing that mission?” Once I reach those goals and hit the six-months, I’ll write and rerecord another mission to pursue.
Do you have your vision for the future written down somewhere? Have someone record it so that you can listen to your mission during the days you are struggling or feel off track. It’s during those hard times, you need to refocus on your mission and the most important things. When you know your mission, it’s easier to move forward with confidence.
2. Have a mentor to guide you.
A mentor is also an important part to become a productive leader. You need a mentor who can help you when you’re feeling stuck, when you’re discouraged, and when you just don’t feel like you’re really delivering at the highest level. Do you have someone who notices when you’re not on your A-game who can come alongside you and say, “It’s going to be okay. I faced this too. I know what it’s like.” A mentor is also there to celebrate your accomplishments and wins! Because I don’t know if you’re like me, but I can be really hard on myself. I finish a project, I get it off the ground, we sell a bunch of copies or memberships, and then my next thought is…“What’s next?”
I don’t even take the time to celebrate and say, “Wow, that was a big deal.” And I’ve actually brought in somebody who I consider a mentor of mine to meet with me weekly and say, “Brian, this is what you’ve accomplished this week. Congratulations.”
Do you have a mentor to guide you? Somebody who can tell you you’re not crazy when you’re feeling overwhelmed and also to help you slow down and appreciate how far you’ve come. Take that step and find someone if this is a gap in your life.
3. Have the right mindset.
The right mindset is one that will push you through the hard times and to help you get back up when you make a mistake. I have made so many mistakes in my career, but it’s my mindset that’s helped me move forward when I wanted to give up. What about your mindset do you need to shift to help you continue moving forward in your business?
Those are the three steps of becoming a productive leader, have a mission to pursue, a mentor to guide you, and the right mindset to see you through.
Comment here to tell me which of the three you are going to implement to become a more productive leader.
Click here to listen to full podcast episode.