Where's Your Focus?

By: Jim Bruce
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This week’s Tuesday Reading, “Where’s Your Focus?”  is a post on Jim Hall’s COACHING BUTTONS Blog.  Jim is an 2007 ITLP alum from the University of Minnesota where he is now Director of Information Services at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

Jim’s essay focuses on Leading – Managing – Doing (LMD) and, in particular, on where you focus, given that we each have only a limited number of hours each week.  His advice is influenced by his years of experience applying the principles from the Leaders Programs.  He summarizes his practice with these words:

“Reflect on what you need to accomplish as part of your role in the organization, and use that to guide your time.  Do you know your top priorities?  Spend time only in the important things, not just the ‘immediate’ items.  If your focus needs to be ‘manage’ or ‘lead,’ reduce the amount of time spent ‘doing’ by handing some of these tasks off to others (delegating).  If your inclination or natural tendency is towards ‘do’ and your ole is ‘manage’ or ‘lead,’ look for ways to exercise ‘do’ outside of work, without drawing attention away from your responsibilities.  Be decisive, use defensive calendaring, avoid multitasking, organize, reduce the time spent on email, use meeting time wisely.”

All good advice and from someone who is actually doing it.  In his note giving me permission to use the blog post as a Tuesday Reading Jim wrote:  “I do believe in LMD, and it has helped me to become a better leader. It’s a great way to remind me that ‘what got you here won’t get you there’.”

Perhaps it is time for you to do an inventory of how you are spending your time, analyzing your calendar for a week or, better, a month.  Ask the hard question – am I doing too much that is below my pay grade?  You just might come to the conclusion that you wouldn’t pay yourself to do what you are actually doing.  You wouldn’t be there first to conclude that.

.  .  .  .   jim

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