Do you know the primary thing that holds you back from accomplishing your vision?
It’s also the very same thing that can really move you forward.
The reason why this is true so much of the time is because YOU are often the primary person that God is going to be using to accomplish the great work that you are doing.
God can use us to be one of those people who are boldly sharing the vision and challenging people to see what God is doing and give to be a part of that. God can use us so significantly and yet, at the same time, we can also be the primary stumbling block to moving forward.
What that means is that we, as leaders, need to constantly be growing to sharpen the skill of self-leadership. This is so important because YOU are important! I’m not talking about your position, but because of what Christ is doing in you and through you as someone who is challenging others to see what He is doing in the lives of people that you serve, so that they can have an impact too.
Here are a few things to focus on as you begin to lead yourself:
- Systems for Success
Track your time. Two times a year, use an app or a journal to log every 10 minutes of your time for two weeks. You may be thinking that you know where your time is already, but trust me, you will be surprised to see the results. There will always be adjustments you can make to make more effective use of your time.
View email as the enemy. Email is a powerful tool, but as wonderful a tool as it is, it is probably the primary thing that I see every leader spending too much time on. They really struggle with letting this go. It feels so productive to sit there and send out emails. Don’t get me wrong, this will cause people to move around and things are going to get done. BUT, a leader is a person who gets the right things done through the right people. Email is just a tool in that. Email is also the number one thing that’s sucking time and energy away from people leading other people to move forward. Be constantly on guard about how you are using your email.
- Schedule Time for the Primary Work that Moves Things Forward
Think about it. You have a budget so that you can tell your money where to go. You have a calendar for the exact same reason. You must tell your time where to go in advance. In the same way, be sure you’re scheduling time for your primary work that moves things forward. Some tools you can use for this are things like a model week or an annual planning calendar.
- Follow Up
Follow up is a set of skills that are learned and a discipline that’s maintained. It is how you move people forward week after week and month after month. It’s important to have a tracking system. This should be a simple system used to track where people are, where you last left them, the basic things you need to remember, and the next action steps you’re going to be taking with that person.
- Create “Automate and Eliminate” Lists
Develop a list of things that you can automate and things that you can eliminate. By using technology, an assistant, other team members, or volunteers, you have a lot of ways to automate things that you don’t realize. This does not mean you should automate the things that relate to face to face meetings and relationship development, but you should automate those things that keep you from that. Basically, anything you do more than once in a week is an opportunity to automate.A couple of ways that I recommend automation is through the use of email templates. If you find yourself repeatedly responding to people via email saying the same basic thing, create a template.
Next, you need to eliminate. This is the big opportunity. We tend to really resist doing this, and I don’t know why. You can’t be constantly adding new things to what you’re doing without eliminating. Most of the time, you can find things to eliminate that no one else even notices. This can be very discouraging when you find you’ve been spending a lot of time doing something that if you stopped for a while, no one would notice.
That is why it’s important to eliminate often. I really encourage you to do this every week and then once in six weeks, do this on a big level. Take a step back and look for things to eliminate from your calendar or your workflow that will really keep people and working through people as your priority. Remember what I’ve said, leaders are people who get the right things done through the right people. To do this, you’ve got to eliminate like crazy.
My hope for you is that all of this is going to encourage you to really realize that, in Christ, all things are possible. In Christ, your role is incredibly important in the story He’s writing. So, let’s do the hard work of self-leadership together.
*We know that face to face meetings are key in seeing your vision become a reality. Click here for a sample script of how to get that first face to face meeting.