What’s Really Important to You?
You can tell what’s important to someone by looking at their calendar and in their checkbook.
We’ve all been sold the lie of ‘time management’ as a way to improve our productivity. An entire industry has been built around the concept of managing our time to get more out of it, to get better results in both of personal and professional lives.
I’m calling bullshit.
It’s not about the time – we’re all given 24 hours each day that comes and goes no matter what we do.
HR certified learning on-demand and on your schedule. Pre-approved HRCI & SHRM webcasts & podcasts. Learn more.
It’s how we manage ourselves, in the time that we’re given.
But this doesn’t sell well, as it forces us to look in the mirror for the problem. 1% leadership requires us to first look at ourselves, because that’s where leadership starts.
To Manage Others, First Manage Yourself
“If you’re going to be successful in life, the first place you have to work on to help yourself really grow and develop is in the area of your leadership.” – John Maxwell
The root of the leadership problem we have in the world is that too many people don’t see themselves as leaders; therefore they don’t take responsibility for their actions and don’t hold so-called leaders accountable for their actions.
How do we help change the perception individuals have of themselves as not being leaders and show them they are?
We need to begin by asking ourselves 3 questions:
1 Would you follow yourself?
If you have influence in the life of someone else, you’re a leader. Knowing this, be honest with yourself as you answer the question, nobody else is going to know the answer. But if you answered ‘NO,’ what can you do to improve yourself?
2. Are you taking time, on a daily basis, to reflect and to think?
What we do in our ‘down time,’ and how much we afford ourselves, is directly related to the success we achieve (or don’t) in our lives. Just like a good financial investor tells you to pay yourself first with your money, you also need to pay yourself first with your time.
3. What would your personal/professional life look like if you invested just 1% each week in growth?
I’ve yet to meet anybody who says they want to stay where they are in life; I’ve just met too few people who are willing to take the initiative to invest in themselves to get what they say they want. The most common excuse I hear? ‘I don’t have the time!’
One Percent Leadership Is Simple Math
Each week we have 168 hours. Nobody gets more and only dead people get less. Assuming you’re reading this, you’re not dead, and that’s a good thing.
What is 1% of 168? 1.68 hours, or approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. Broken down further, it’s about 15 minutes a day. So what can you do with 15 minutes a day? A lot!
First, do a self-assessment of where you’re at right now. Be brutally honest with yourself of what your ‘right now’ looks like. For the next two weeks, from the time you get up until the time you go to bed, track your time in 15 minute increments. Do both your personal schedule and your professional schedule together, because for many people, you’ll see a lot of overlap between the two. (As important as this step is, it doesn’t need to be complicated. A simple Excel sheet will do, here’s a free template.)
Spend time evaluating this assessment. Experience isn’t the best teacher; evaluated experience is the best teacher. I guarantee your schedule is not so full on a continuous basis that you can’t find 1% to invest in yourself, you just haven’t look hard enough for it, until now.
Once you’ve done this, I challenge you to find something you want to improve upon, something you want to learn, or something you want to accomplish. Don’t pick more than 1 or 2 things to improve — start by focusing small.
Over the next 30 days, spend 15 minutes every day on what you just chose, track the results, and I guarantee you’ll see a positive growth in the end. This takes self-discipline. If you’d like accountability, email me and we’ll work together to help you reach your goal.
This is what one percent leadership looks like — and it starts with the person you look at in the mirror every day.
Photo credit: Joshua Earle.