Just recently I attended a program at the Royal Hotel in Sinkor, Monrovia and there were two government officials invited to the program. The program was scheduled to have begun at 10:00am.
The host and other guests were seated before 10am and the two ministers invited to the occasion had still not come and the hosts were seen constantly on phone with the two ministers until at about 10:17am when they put the last call through. Surprisingly the first minister showed up at 10:27am and the second minister showed up at about 10:39am.
Since my return to Liberia in 2009 I have attended over 35 events that had high ranking government officials attending as special guests or speakers at these events and yet there was none that attended any one of those events on time. This is proof of how they handle their time as it relates to work and other responsibilities given then and this is not healthy at all.
Lessons in Leadership
Leaders around the world agree that one of the greatest needs of their life is more time. Most admit that they don’t manage their time as wisely as they should. Leaders are busy with opportunities and activities, and frequently end up merely reacting to life instead of leading from a sense of purpose. There’s just too much to do!
We cannot change time and therefore must accept this fact: time is the MOST important resource to mankind. We cannot do anything to increase the quantity of time, we can only steward time. We can do anything, but we cannot do everything.
Management consultant, Peter Drucker once said, “Perhaps nothing else distinguishes effective executives as much as their loving care of time.” And on time management Dr. John C. Maxwell said “It is an interesting paradox we have today. Why is it that in primitive societies, nobody had a watch but everybody had time. Yet, in today’s society, nobody has time, but everybody has a watch! Where does time go that we gain by moving information faster than we did before? Why is it that we don’t have more time with all the technology we’ve added to our lives? It’s simple. We keep adding more information and activity to our lives. Our expectation for production has increased. And leaders are exhausted with the pace of our lives.”
Time conscious leaders are always aware of time and how it is used. They live in light of the big picture, managing each project in view of the total mission they seek to fulfill. They treat time as a valuable commodity. They recognized that time is even more value than money – you can always get more money, but you can never get more time. Effective leaders don’t spend it…they invest it for a return. They act as if nothing is worth more than the time they have today.
Henry Ford said, “It has been my observation that most people get ahead by using time that others waste.” Leaders must not only know what consumes their time, but they must begin to eliminate those wasteful activities one at a time. When you identify the tasks that waste time, you have three options: 1. Discontinue them – Simply remove them from your calendar. 2. Delay them – If they must be done, perhaps there’s a better time to do them later and 3. Delegate them – Identify someone who is gifted to take on the task.
Friend, activity does not necessarily equal accomplishment. Don’t measure your success by how busy you are. In Liberian, I have seen many leaders pride themselves on being busy; it is like they’ve earned a trophy for having so many people wanting their time, and being solely responsible for so many tasks. As a leader your goal is not to be busy, but to be fruitful.
So, what time is it for you by Life’s Clock? Below is a Parallel of a 70-Year Life Span with a 24-Hour Day. It is adopted from the Dr. John C. Maxwell Million Leaders Mandate training manual.
If you are 20……….it’s 11:08 a.m.
If you are 25……….it’s 12:25 p.m.
If you are 30……….it’s 1:25 p.m.
If you are 35……….it’s 2:59 p.m.
If you are 40……….it’s 4:16 p.m.
If you are 45……….it’s 5:43 p.m.
If you are 50……….it’s 6:50 p.m.
If you are 55……….it’s 8:08 p.m.
If you are 60……….it’s 10:11 p.m.
If you are 70, it’s approaching midnight!
Dear reader, our days are identical luggage…all the same size…but some people can fit more into their days than others. A detailed written account of how you spend each day is essential to mastering your time. After all, the amount of work we could finish is infinite – it’s the hours in a day that are limited.
(Chealy Brown Dennis is a consultant and a much sought after motivational speaker and offers training in leadership and business development concept and planning, creative sales and marketing, strategic planning and team building. He can be contacted through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or on phone at: 0886-264-611 or 0776545394)