Recently I was asked to speak at a CEO forum on strategic use of the CEO’s time. This was a great opportunity to review the common themes emerging from our keynotes and workshops and leadership team retreats.
These time traps apply to anyone in a leadership role, but especially to senior executives. How many of these traps have you fallen into?
1. Highly Reactive and Crazy Busy
- Is your day a blur of meetings, phone calls, and e-mails with almost no time for reflection?
- Are you living life from your inbox and overwhelmed by a blizzard of e-mails?
2. The Acceleration Trap
- Is your team/organization overloaded with too many priorities and conflicting activities?
- Are you loading new projects and goals on top of existing workloads without rigorous “stop doing” pruning to make room for them?
3. Low Culture/Capacity Development
- Does your team/organization invest little time in culture/leadership development because you’re too busy or feel budgets are too tight?
- Is your planning focused mostly on budgets and operations?
4. Poor Monkey Management
- Are you loading more and more “monkeys on your back” as you solve problems for your team members?
- Are you micromanaging your direct reports? What do they think? How do you know?
5. No Time for Coaching Skill Development
- Have you developed your coaching skills and get regular feedback on the effectiveness of your coaching conversations?
- Do you use a coaching framework to focus your coachee on developing possible solutions and owning the issue?
6. Working in Versus on Your Team
- Does your team have an offsite retreat to reflect and refocus at least once per year?
- Does your team periodically ask what should we keep doing, stop doing, and start doing/do more to increase our effectiveness?
7. Falling Down the Meeting Sinkhole
- Do your meetings have clear goals/outcomes for each agenda item, ground rules to minimize disruptions, document decisions, agreed action plans, and rigorous follow through?
- Do you regularly review and adjust the purpose, process, participants, and effectiveness of all meetings?
Further Reading and Resources:
- The Positive Impact of Team Retreats (link direct to this pull down menu at https://www.clemmergroup.com/services/leadership-team-retreats/)
- Goals and Priorities
- “Tip for Taming the E-mail Beast“
- “How Many Monkeys Are On Your Back?“
- “Reclaim Your Time, Reclaim Your Life“
- “Video Clip: Working ON the Team versus IN the Team“
- “Use Virtual/Physical Meeting Effectiveness Checklists to Boost Their Effectiveness“
- “The Acceleration Trap: Frantic Busyness and Priority Overload is Overwhelming Way Too Many Teams and Organizations“