We live in a day with a lot of noise. As a leader, where should you start? Believe it or not, you should start with YOU!
Most leaders invest in everyone and everything but themselves. Yet, that’s precisely where you should start. Unless you are growing, your organization cannot grow. Leaders quickly become the ceiling of their organizations. Everything bumps up against them and their abilities. When a leader stops growing, his organization stops growing.
Most leaders are very spread. They are doing too many tasks in too many areas. When I work with leaders, one of the first things I do is help them gain a better understanding of themselves. Until you truly understand your strengths and weaknesses, you cannot properly position yourself in your organization.
Most leaders are misaligned. Leaders fill their lives with what needs to be done. Instead, they should fill their lives with what they do best. They should limit their role to where they can bring the highest value to the organization.
Want to know how to put first things first? Read on to discover 4 insights to putting first things first.
Most people are very familiar with their weaknesses. After all, they regularly reveal themselves through your struggles. Companies frequently encourage leaders to improve their weaknesses. Although a leader can benefit from doing so, it’s not the best use of a leader’s focus or time. If you are weak at something, you will not likely ever become great at that area.
Discovering your strengths and working to improve those areas will bring you greater dividends. You might be thinking, “Why should I work on my strengths?” The answer is if you are good at something, you can easily become great at doing that something. It is so much easier to improve an area of strength than an area of weakness.
Your strengths are your “secret sauce.” Working to improve your “secret sauce” enables it to become your “super sauce.” Besides that, you will enjoy the journey more. It’s a delight to work on growing your strengths. You will be motivated and move forward much quicker.
Once you discover your strengths, take a close look at your current roles and responsibilities. What are you doing that it would be better for someone else to do? What do you enjoy doing? What do you dislike doing?
Asking yourself these questions will allow you to divide your current roles and responsibilities into 2 categories: (1) those that align well and (2) those that do not align well. Doing so is important. The things you don’t do well and don’t like doing are good things to delegate to someone else.
Look for someone who loves doing what you hate doing. You will discover that there are people who love the tasks you despise. They not only love those tasks. They do them well.
Once you discover your strengths, rank them in order of significance. Place them in order of enjoyment for you. Place the things you love doing at the top of your list. If you love doing it, you will do it well. It doesn’t feel like work to you. In fact, you may find yourself marveling that you get paid to do something you love so much.
Next, think about where you can bring the highest level of impact to your organization. What is the one thing you do well that will move the needle forward the most?
Last, combine these 2 concepts. As much as possible, align what you love doing with what makes the biggest difference. The closer these 2 concepts align, the move you will love what you do and the greater impact you will have.
Once you get yourself properly aligned, look for people who do well the things you dislike. Look for people who have aptitude and skills in your areas of weakness.
Take time to write out a job description that clearly defines what skills, abilities, and tasks the role requires.
Remember, look for team members that love doing what you hate doing. Those things need to get done, but you’re not the one to do them.
Everything starts with you, the leader. If you don’t get things right at the top, you cannot get things right below. First things first. Start with you. Follow these 4 insights to travel the road to build a productive and profitable company!
Dave Pennington PhD