• Jim Canfield

Finding Leadership Balance: Lead, Manage, Do



Once you successfully delegate, you’ll be in the enviable position of being able to choose how to best use your time. Where you decide to spend your time can have make-or-break effects on your company, so you’ll want to make these decisions carefully and thoughtfully.


One approach to determining your time allocation is to break your time into three broad categories: leading, managing, and doing. Think about how much time you now invest in each category. Then look to the future and consider how much time you’d like to spend in each category.


Track Your Day


Building an autonomous company starts with understanding where you spend your time. If you have no real sense of how you now spend your time, consider tracking your time at the end of every day for one or two weeks. For each day, write down the number of hours you spent leading, managing, and doing. You may find the results surprising, but regardless, you’ll have a solid starting point based on reality.


See the Bigger Picture


It’s also important to step back and look at the bigger picture. Try this visualization tool, which helps you go from ground level to 30,000 feet for thirty minutes. From 30,000 feet, look down and observe what you see. Take in the company, the industry, your competitors, your customers. What do you see from this vantage point?


This big-picture thinking takes you into the realm of giants because it separates your thoughts about what is possible from your everyday thoughts about what is probable.


Along the same lines, Dr. Tom Hill, an internationally known business leader, speaker, and author recommends a personal retreat. He suggests going off by yourself once a year to a relaxing, secluded spot where you can just sit and think. It could be a mountain, a sandy beach, or even a favorite bench at a local park—anywhere you can spend time alone to think without distractions. Determine how to best invest your time, think about big ideas for the business, and refocus on what’s important in your future.


Take Back Your Time


Our entrepreneurial natures can cause us to be so fully immersed in our businesses that, regardless of how we plan to allocate our time among the various areas, we still spend nearly 100 percent of our time on the job. It can occupy our every waking moment, plus much of our dream time. For our own sanity as well as the health of the business, we need to buy back some time for our family, for our friends, and for ourselves.


Understanding where your time is going is a valuable insight to create a healthy work-life balance. This balance is essential to recharging your batteries and preventing burnout. You will be able to better plan out your time and learn what tasks can be delegated.

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