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Leaders Must Not Waste Other People's Time

February 29, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 118

The most effective and successful leaders are often the best time managers. These people realize that there is only a finite amount of time in every day, and that a leader's term or tenure in a position of leadership is also limited. One of the biggest errors that most new leaders make is instead of hitting the ground running from their first day in office, they waste this early period because either they have not pre-planned, or because they procrastinate in beginning to try to make their mark. In my over thirty years of working closely with over a thousand leaders, I always emphasize that effective leaders must always be cognizant of time - both their own time utilization, and how they impact others. Benjamin Franklin wrote, "If time be of all things most precious, let us be up and doing to the purpose." While often only those paying close attention or leadership professionals will observe and realize how a leader wastes his own time, it becomes glaringly obvious when leaders waste the time of others.

1. No one wants to have their time wasted. This is even more true when it comes to the time of volunteers or potential volunteers, who are donating their precious "free time" to an organization, because they feel some sort of special affinity or loyalty to the organization. After speaking to thousands of Board members, and conducting hundreds of Board training programs, a far too large percentage of individuals who have served for any period on a particular time, seem to develop the attitude that nothing ever gets accomplished. These people invariably speak of recurrent issues, which have been discussed ad nauseam for as long as they've been members. They often speak of their resentment at attending these meetings, often at the end of a long day, and arriving on time, only to have the meeting rarely begin at the scheduled time. They often speak of how meetings drag on because of the lack of organization.

2. Those leading meetings or programs must make every attempt to consistently begin on time, whether everyone who is expected has arrived yet or not. When a leader does not begin on time, after a while, the meeting develops the reputation as always beginning late, and therefore people straggle in later and later each time. When a leader begins on time, conversely, those attending understand that they are expected to be there on time. It sets the tone, and rewards those who are acting responsibly, instead of those that have been abusing their on- time responsibility. The next thing a leader must understand is that meetings have a tendency to become repetitive and lose direction, unless they follow some rules. Organizations should strictly follow parliamentary procedure, for this reason.

3. Every meeting, every appointment, every plan should come with a time line. This time line should not be just a guideline, but something closely aimed for, and something taken seriously. Studies have indicated that the large majority of those in leadership lose more than a third (and that is a very conservative, kind estimate) of their potential, because they waste time.

Great leaders must be efficient. They must have a vision, goals, an action plan with a time line, and a sense of direction. Leaders should try to make Ben Franklin proud of them!

With over 30 years consultative sales, marketing, training, managerial, and operations experience, Richard Brody has trained sales and marketing people in numerous industries, given hundreds of seminars, appeared as company spokesperson on over 200 radio and television programs. He's negotiated, arranged and organized hundreds of events. Richard's owned businesses, been a COO, CEO, and Director of Development, as well as a consultant. His company Website is, and he can be followed on Twitter @rgbrody. For great information on many topics, visit PLAN2LEAD's Facebook page and LIKE (

Source: EzineArticles
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