Monthly Archives: November 2011

Time Management Skills for Leaders

Leaders always operate under certain constrains. Time constrain is one of the most fundamental constraints of a leader.

Of course, time is a constraint of all individuals. However, leaders are responsible not only for their own time, but also for time utilization of each member of on the team either directly or indirectly. 

How can a leader manage her personal time, as well as time utilization of the team?

There are many strategies and techniques. In this article, we will review only the most important ones.

The first step is prioritization of tasks. Nobody can successfully manage his tasks if those tasks are not prioritized.

I suggest two approaches to task prioritization:

  1. Time Management Quadrant, and
  2. Pareto Law

In order to leverage Time Management Quadrant, you need to assign each of your tasks to one of the following categories (based on their contribution to your leadership goals and mission):

Example of Time Management Quadrant

  • High importance/high urgency
  • High importance/low urgency
  • Low importance/high urgency
  • Low importance/low urgency

    Example of Pareto Law

According to Pareto Law, 20 percent of your tasks always responsible for 80 percent of your results, 80 percent of your tasks are responsible for 20 percent of your results.

You really want to identify 20% of your task that are responsible for 80% of your results and FOCUS on them. 

Time Management Quadrant and Pareto Law sound simple. However, just a few people really have a habit of using them.

The next step is identifying if there are any tasks that needs to be alleviated in terms of time constraint. When you determine which task needs to be alleviated, think how you can alleviate the task.

Delegation is one of the best techniques to alleviate a critical task. However, to use this technique, you need to master delegation skills first. 

Another technique you can use to alleviate a critical task is renegotiation time of delivery (if possible). This technique requires good negotiation skills and cannot be applied to all situations.

Finally, I would like to mention that good planning of your (and your team’s) tasks will make your time management process less stressful.

 

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Team Building Skills for Leaders

In order to achieve a leadership goal, a leader has to leverage the talents, knowledge, and skills of his team members.
 
Effective team should serve as a multiplier of a leader’s vision, creative energy and knowledge. However, to serve as a multiplier, the team should be properly built and managed. In fact, leadership building skills is a complex set of related leadership skills with common denominator. This denominator is an effectively functioning team.
 
A team can be defined as a group of people with the same goal. Sounds very simple?
 
In reality, it’s not as simple as it seems. Goals can be declared and/or real. I am sure you remember the time when a team member declared goals, which were not her real goals. She had her own hidden agenda and her own hidden goal.
 
The critical responsibility of a leader is to make sure that all team members have the same REAL GOAL. Moreover, the goal should be properly aligned with a vision of a leader. This can be accomplished by proper team building and team management.
 
There are different psychological types of people. Different types of people interact with each other in their own unique way. In addition, team members can have different cultural backgrounds, can belong to completely different age groups, and of course, have entirely different skill levels. These are just several of critical variables a leader has to consider in order to design a well functioning team.
 
 

 Photos appear under license agreement with istockphoto.

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