Leaders must have priorities

Posted by: KSG-admin Post Date: September 14, 2020

Leaders must have priorities

By Samwel Kumba

Reading is important yet the ability to explain why could be harder than we think. Those who have dared to find out have come across such reasons as reading develops thoughts, gives endless knowledge, and lessons while keeping minds active. Indeed, reading exposes people to new words
which enables them to develop deeper understanding of their language and how to use it. To keep the audience smarter, Bulletin Writer SAMWEL KUMBA runs this series of book review and encourages readers to read and enhance knowledge, expand their vocabulary, and deepen their thinking. Therefore, read a good book today starting with this: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

John Maxwell, author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, has a challenge to his readers; the proposal to shake up their lives, get out of the comfort zone and get rid of anything that is not working and may require major revision. He calls on the readers to think outside the box or create a new one or better still reinvent the box— or blow it up.

Maxwell takes a swipe and likens ignoring any major alignment of priorities to lining up a golf shot incorrectly. In which case, the farther one hits the ball, the more off course it will be and the longer one lives out of alignment the more a greater chance of missing attainment of the vision.

Leaders should get out of their comfort zone but stay in their strength zone. This means if what a leader is doing can be done 80 per cent as well by someone else, then it is better delegated. Similarly, if a leader has a responsibility that someone else could do to a required standard, then the leader needs to develop and train the person to handle it.

Maxwell’s thinking is that just because one can do something does not mean that the person should do it; activity is not necessarily accomplishment and this is what he calls the Law of Priorities.

The author continues to explain in this chapter that leaders hardly advance to a point where they no longer need to prioritize. Instead, good leaders keep prioritizing whether they are leading a multimillion institution, running a small business, coaching a team, or simply administering a church. Nevertheless, he reckons that not every leader practices the discipline of prioritizing.

Caution to those that do not prioritize; they are called upon to recognize that they can be busy yet not productive.

Prioritizing requires leaders to continually think ahead, know what is important, and what is next in order to see how everything relates to the overall vision.

Prioritizing causes people to do things that are, at the least, uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful.

A number of guidelines have been shared to assist in evaluating priorities. Effective leaders have been known to order their lives based on these guidelines. They include requirement, return, and reward.

Requirement
Employees are often accountable to somebody for the work done, besides them having a responsibility for other important people in their lives such as spouse, children, and parents.

Effectively, any list of priorities must begin with what is required of them. The rule of thumb is that if one is doing what is not necessary, it should be eliminated and if it is something that is necessary but not required of them personally, they need to delegate it.

Return
Leaders should spend most of their time working in their areas of greatest strength. Available research indicates that people are more productive and more content when their work is within their natural gifting and strengths.

Reward
This relates to personal fulfillment and the fact that life is too short for one not to do things they love.

Indeed, Tim Redmond, the President of Redmond Leadership Institute, aptly summarized this guideline in his observation that: “There are many things that will catch my eye, but there are only a few things that will catch my
heart.”

It is, therefore, important for all to re-examine their lives and prioritize their actions. Those who have never done so before are tasked to take the time to think through what is required of them, what gives the greatest return and what brings the greatest reward. By answering these questions, it is easier to create a list of the things they do that do not fit solidly into one of the guidelines and delegate or eliminate them.

Successful people live according to the Law of Priorities. Successful leaders help their organizations, departments, or teams to live according to this law. As a leader, take the responsibility for prioritizing and thinking ahead for your area of accountability.

The author encourages leaders to regularly carve out specific time, to revisit priorities. It is not enough to be successful, help your people be successful.