What’s important to you?
Every leader must define what's important to him or her. If everything is important to you, then nothing is important to you. Not truly. You have to know. I have friends who are very successful in leading their organizations, but they’ve lost their families. Some have widened their spheres of influence, but on the inside, they are dying and withering away. Others, on the outside, seem to be fulfilled, but their satisfaction level is very low. Do you know why? Because they did not define what was important to them.
For example, if you value your family, then you're going to prioritize them. In fact, your actions will show you and others what's important to you. You’ll spend time with your family and have a vision for your future as a family. You’ll leave the office when you say you’re going to leave the office and protect your boundaries when you’re not at work by turning off your computer and your phone. You’ll prioritize family because that’s truly important to you. You can say that people are important to you, but if you don’t show it through your actions—if you’re never around people but consider them an intrusion, an interruption—others are going to be able to tell.
People will have these meetings in the hallway outside your office, whispering, “Should we talk to her today?” “Should we talk to him today?” Maybe they hesitate to come in and actually speak to you. Maybe they won’t meet your eyes in meetings and only email you as a last resort. You can keep telling people that your door is always open—that they can come to you anytime—but if your behavior tells a different story, they’re not going to feel safe approaching and confiding in you. You’re going to build a company culture of fear and intimidation. This is just one example of the negative effect it can have when you don’t identify and live out what’s truly important. Define what you value. Then, make sure that your definition and your actions are congruent.
Start here: What are the top five most significant things in your life? Make a list. Rank them. Be honest with yourself about where you are today—not necessarily where you want to be. If you don’t identify these five, the rest of the secondary priorities and cares of life are going to run over the important things, and the tyranny of the urgent is going to destroy what’s important in your life. Make a list of what you cherish, and lean into those things. Come up with an action plan to truly prioritize them, and make sure your actions match your words.
This blog was extracted from my new book, Turbo Leadership: Power points for maximum performance. Invest in your leadership by getting your copy at SamChandBook.com.
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