Are you always running out of time to focus on what matters most in your function and role? Do you feel you’re always getting into things that should be handled by your team?
According to Forbes at a 1991 dinner party, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet were asked the question of what’s the most important attribute that got them to where they are today, both answered, “Focus.” When the leaders of the organization are focused on leading, the business thrives.
So how do you allow yourself the time to focus on the right things as a leader? You have to ask yourself these questions and in this order:
- Do I have the right structure?
- Do I have the right people in the right seats?
- Do I have enough time?
You will never have enough time unless you have the right people in the rights seats. You will never have the right people in the right seats unless you have the right structure.
First you have to define the right structure. In EOS, the structure is defined by the Accountability Chart. The Accountability Chart simplifies and communicates clear accountabilities for your team so everyone understands their function, roles and responsibilities. We define this as the best structure for the greater good of the organization that’s going to get us to the next level. The structure that got us here is not necessarily the right structure to get us to where we want to go. This is defined before you decide who sits in these seats so you don’t limit yourselves to the current strengths and weaknesses of your existing team. Structure first, people second.
When the Accountability Chart is clear, you know exactly who to go to when there are issues in different parts of the organization. So there is clear ownership in all aspects of the business.
Right People in the Right Seats
Once your Accountability Chart is clear, you can work towards getting the right people in the right seats. In EOS, “right people” means they fit your core values and “right seat” means they GWC their seat as defined by the Accountability Chart. GWC stands for “Get it”, “Want it”, and the “Capacity to do it”. You have to have both! If you don’t, you’ll still run into issues of not having enough time. You will either be spending time managing behavioral issues (Core Values issues), performance issues (GWC issues), or both. Thus keeping you from focusing on your own function as a leader in the Accountability Chart.
Once you have the right people in the right seats, then you can work towards delegating and elevating yourself to where you add the most value in your organization, focused on your functional roles and responsibilities. In EOS, our tool for that is the Delegate and ElevateTM tool. This tool crystallizes where you spend your time and energy when you consider everything you do for your organization. It helps identify what to Elevate yourself to . . . things that you love and great at, also things that you like and good at. Conversely, it helps identify what to Delegate . . . things that you don’t like and good at, also things that you don’t like and not good at.
There are 2 other key EOS tools to help in answering the “enough time” question. That is LMA and the Trust Builders.
LMA – This stands for Leadership, Management & Accountability. In order for you to be comfortable in letting go to delegate items, you must be able to lead well, manage well and hold people accountable. LMA is a major role in the Accountability Chart if you have direct reports. If you are constantly running out of time, chances are it may be on your! Learn the 5 practices of a Leader and Manager here.
Trust Builders – Trust is a huge factor in having enough time. When there is distrust, you waste time and energy managing behaviors, disfunction, drama, and unexpected issues. Is your team having quarterly trust building activities, starting with having open and honest conversations on where you are on the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team assessment?
Time to Focus
Imagine yourself being able to answer confidently “yes” to all 3 questions: 1) Do I have the right structure? 2) Do I have the right people in the right seats? 3) Do I have enough time to focus on what matters most? If you can, then you are leading well and focused on the right things for your organization where you add the most value. Then you can join the dinner party with Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and share your most successful attribute as a leader!