A Harris Poll of 1,000 USA workers revealed employees see communication issues dragging executive performance down. Leaders are so busy that they focus on tasks rather than having the emotional intelligence to better engage the people they are supposed to be leading.
I do not talk with leaders who are bored because they have too much extra time on their hands. They are looking for a “time-expansion-machine” that will expand an hour to 90 minutes. If someone has found that time-expander, they have not told me. So we are stuck with 60-minute hours and 24-hours days. What is missing?
Doug Lennick is a very successful executive, mentor, and author who shares great wisdom. He said, “The reason we do not get what we want in our life is because we let important things get in our way.” I thought I was supposed to focus on the important things! Doug’s message is, “We need to focus on our KEY things in life rather than the important ones.” Key things are things that we must do and only we can do them. We can delegate or drop most important things that are not key.
Examples of KEY activities for leaders are:
- Building and maintaining relationships.
- Prioritizing your life.
- Creating and sharing your vision.
- Acknowledging the work of others.
- Giving clear directions.
- Caring for your health and exercise.
If you look at the survey list of issues by employees, and match it to the key activities, it is not hard to imagine that the leaders of those employees are not focused on key activities. They are letting the “important” things consume their life and ignoring the key things.
The last chapter of our book “Seeing Yourself as Others Do – Authentic Executive Presence at Any Stage of Your Career” is on Inspiration, Motivation and Praise. Most clients recognize they can be significantly better at this, and want to be better. By focusing on KEY activities and the importance of relationships, everyone can improve the score they would receive if their employees were part of another Harris Poll.
Many of my clients have grabbed onto the KEY activities concept and dramatically improved their ability to manage themselves and lead others without the need for a time-expander.