In the continuing series of our 12 Key Leadership Competencies, personal organization is a leader’s ability to prioritize those elements of their role that will produce the best return. A leader has to demonstrate personal organization as well as demand it of each person on the team. A leader or team member who is weak in this area will inhibit the entire team from reaching its maximum contribution and potential.
The definition that we at Proven Leaders Pipeline have developed for personal organization as a leadership competency is as follows:
Demonstrated discipline in utilizing various planning, organizing and time management tools for self and others; demonstrated strong results orientation for self and others.
John Maxwell talks about personal organization when he says, “The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.” In other words, successful people, especially leaders, take great care in determining where they spend their time. They don’t dwell on tasks, conversations or other things that don’t help them move closer to accomplishing their most important goals. This requires intentionality about what they will do as well as what they won’t do.
Successful leaders let their goals drive their actions; successful leaders take time each day, each week, each month, each quarter and each year to identify those key goals that will advance their vision, mission and purpose, as well as the actions needed to accomplish the goals. They intentionally schedule their time to focus on only those tasks that are important and resist doing what is less important or not of any value at all.
Peter Drucker said, “Everything requires time. It is the only truly universal condition. All work takes place in time and uses up time. Yet most people take for granted this unique, irreplaceable resource. Nothing else, perhaps, distinguishes effective executives as much as their tender loving care of time.” We only have 168 hours in each week, no more and no less. Our to-do list will never be completed – ever. Effective leaders know how to focus their time so they have the most impact. People who are intentional about the use of time are focused on accomplishing results rather than talking about the obstacles that are preventing them from obtaining results.
Brian Tracy, a noted expert on sales and personal organization has said, “One of the most important rules of personal (organization) is the 10/90 rule. The first 10% of time that you spend planning and organizing your work before you begin will save you as much as 90% of the time in getting the job done once you get started.” This daily and weekly habit is essential. One has to be intentional otherwise you will be subject to other people’s agendas and needs.
Another component of personal organization is helping others be more effective in their daily routine. Effective leaders know at a high level where their team is spending their time; they can recognize how organized a team member is by looking at what they produce vs. what they just talk about; and they recognize productive work vs. “busy work”. They also know how to best utilize the time of others to accomplish the organization’s goals. They carefully think through delegated assignments to ensure they are meaningful and valuable to the organization. Leaders know what tools or techniques each person on their staff will need to have maximum productivity and therefore maximum impact.
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Do you want to see if you are strong in personal organization, as well as our other Key Competencies? Take our assessment and learn if this is a strength or an area for development. In either case, you will also receive some tips and suggestions to enhance this leadership competency. Visit our website at proven-leaders.com and click on Take the Assessment.