I didn't have time today to do what I do best. I was too busy being busy.
One of the first questions I ask leaders in a coaching or consulting relationship is to consider what they do best.
"What is it that when you do it, things tend to go better for you?" The "things" may include money, satisfaction, happiness, peacefulness or a sense of accomplishment.
Most leaders possess a well-tuned notion of what things need to be done to achieve measurable results. Managers do things right, while leaders focus on doing the right things.
Problems develop when time demands limit the repetition of doing the right things. I ask leaders this follow-up question, "In the last week of work, what percentage of the time did you complete the actions that make things go better for you?
Then I add, "How about the last month?"
In 30 years of asking this nosy question, I've concluded that in a "good week," the average leader spends less than 20% of their time (self-reported) doing the things that matter most. Highly effective leaders work on the right things about 80% of their time.
Thousands of books and countless blogs address the gap between good intentions and productive reality. The advice writers and coaches provide tends to focus on time management and reducing the shiny object response factor.
The struggle to complete uninterrupted deep work is more spiritual than technological. Some identify the problem as a lack of focus. I contend that weak focus is a symptom of an issue with dusty feet.
In a master class with Jesus, the disciples learned to keep their eyes on their feet and watch for dust accumulation. Today's television weathercasters call it ground clutter. We can't see dust or ground clutter, but God wants us to discern it and move ahead. Move to what matters most.
We see evidence the disciples understood the lesson in Acts 13:51 as they dusted their feet before pressing on to Iconium.
We must watch our feet. We must be mindful of the people, the projects and the pull of wasted energy. It keeps us from doing what we do best.
None of us has a minute to waste. Diligent doers plant their feet while doing the right thing.
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.
Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, here.
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Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.
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