Listen, you and I, we’re leaders. But we’re also managers, technicians, chief bottle washers, and the chief talent officers. We have a lot on our plates. So much so that, and I’ve heard this from a lot of other leaders, that it becomes difficult to even know what tasks on our plate should take top priority.
I’ve been trying really hard to get a better handle on my time recently, to make sure I’m dedicating enough time to the companies I lead. Doing so required me to look at what I do, determine if it’s the highest and best use of my time, and if it is, prioritize those tasks or projects. For one of my brands, I had about 5 projects that, from my perspective, were equally important. I was having a really hard time putting them into a priority order.
After staring at the list of these 5 projects and thinking about it, it dawned on me that every project on that list was really about removing a roadblock or creating a process that would enable my team to succeed at work. Each project touched multiple areas of the work, which meant it would impact almost everyone working there. Once I figured that out, I realized it wasn’t me who should determine the priority order of my work. My team needed to tell me the priority.
I then went over to Slack, and asked for them to help me prioritize the list of 5 projects. By the end of the day, I had a newly-prioritized list of projects, based on importance to my team. How amazing is that? Really? Sometimes the hardest part of being a leader is knowing which work you need to focus on. By asking my team, they told me where they’d like me to focus based on our vision and goals. And, let’s not forget how great it made the team feel. They had input on what work their boss would do next – and got to prioritize the list of work in a way that will help THEM succeed at their job.
Could you imagine if every leader did this? I have a feeling we’d have a lot more businesses with happier employees and a better culture. To be clear, I’m not saying you should do this all the time, with every list, and every project you have on your to do list. But there are a few times I think asking your team to set your work priorities for you would be very helpful.