When you’re running a business, the demands on your time are unrelenting. New executives quickly realize that they can’t necessarily manage their time the way they did before ascending to the C-suite. However, actually changing their behavior and the way they manage their days can be daunting.
Consequently, they don’t change. They’re still busy. They’re still managing. They’re still getting things done. But they aren’t leading the organization. In fact, you could argue that they’re having a negative impact because they are allowing whatever issues or bad habits that exist to continue uncorrected.
As an executive, you can never forget: You’re responsible for what has happened, what’s happening now, and how the company will perform into the future. Therefore, you have to spend your time ensuring that the company is headed in the right direction – not rolling up your sleeves and digging in to the details of a singular customer account.
For most executives, this is difficult. You’re used to being active. You’ve always been energetically engaged in accomplishing the next big thing. However, when you’re in the top spot, you have to be aware of what’s happening in the present, but spend most of your time thinking about the future. This requires a different mindset, a willingness to not be involved in the nitty-gritty of everyday business, and perhaps even different skills.
At previous stops on the corporate ladder, the ability to zoom in to the details is likely what helped you to excel. But now you need the ability to zoom out. By focusing on larger topics that impact the entire company, such as culture, you can have your greatest positive impact.
This often means moving away from solving the immediate problem and focusing on helping others to figure out how to solve the problems of the day.
The best leaders do more listening than talking, and they focus more on creating the right context for their direct reports, so that they can make the best decisions for the good of the business.
As a senior leader of your company, you are integral to the company’s success yesterday, today and tomorrow. To create the best outcome, you don’t have to work harder than everyone else in your company, but you do have to work smarter so that the company can fulfill its potential.
Contact us at 215.441.4600 or Email if you have questions or would like to discuss how this topic may impact your business.
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