MANA Group Discuss How The Greatest Leaders Actually Spend Their Time
NEW YORK, NY, August 2014 – Everybody has an opinion on what leaders should do.
So what do effective leaders really do? How do they actually spend their time?
1. They spend most of their time with others. On average they spend less than 25% of their working time alone.
2. The people they spend time with include many in addition to their direct subordinates and boss. They regularly go around the formal chain of command. They also regularly see people who often appear to be unimportant outsiders.
3. They do not limit their focus to planning, business strategy, staffing, and other “top management concerns.” They discuss virtually anything and everything even remotely associated with their businesses and organizations.
4. They typically ask a lot of questions. In a half-hour conversation, some will ask literally hundreds.
5. They rarely seem to make “big” decisions.
6. Their discussions usually contain a considerable amount of joking and kidding and concern nonwork-related issues. The humor is often about others in the organization or industry. Nonwork discussions are usually about people’s families, hobbies, or recent outside activities (e.g., golf scores).
7. They rarely give orders in a traditional sense. That is, they seldom “tell” people what to do.
8. They frequently engage in attempts to influence others. However, instead of telling people what to do, they ask, request, cajole and persuade.
9. Much of the typical day is unplanned. Even those who have a heavy schedule of planned meetings often end up spending a lot of time on topics that are not on the official agenda.
10. They work long hours. Although some of their work is done at home, while commuting to work, or while traveling, they spend most of their time at their places of work.
This pattern of activity looks like a scattered and unsystematic way to achieve goals — yet it’s very consistent among top executives.
Because book theories about leadership are often created in a vacuum, not from the realistic POV of a leader.
For additional information, contact a member of the MANA Group administration team at firstname.lastname@example.org
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