Leaders: Where Are You Looking to Anticipate Change?
For dynamic companies, change is ever in the air. New markets, new customer expectations and new technologies can arise at any time. As a corporate leader, you might be constantly studying industry trends and competitors’ moves to figure out which changes could positively impact your organization.
However, there’s a powerful tool for preparing for the future that you might not be aware of. It’s right there on your desk or in your phone. You look at it every day. It’s your calendar!
Take a moment to preview your calendar. Whom will you be spending the most time with in the weeks ahead? Which projects will you spend the most time on? The answers to those questions will tell you where your company is headed.
As the old saying reminds us, what you tend to thrives; what you ignore dies. Thus, calendars are roadmaps and crystal balls.
The Big Picture
How can you alter your calendar so it drives more growth? Compare how much time you’re devoting to current business activities to how much time you’re devoting to the future. The latter category includes drawing up expansion plans, developing new products, learning about new communications platforms and chasing sales leads.
You should spend at least half of your time on growth. If you must, delegate more management tasks to others.
Indeed, most of your activities should fit into a long-range, overall strategy. Golfing is fun, but golfing with prospective clients, vendors or business partners can be fruitful as well as fun. Giving speeches is great, but speaking to audiences of young professionals who are currently looking for jobs can also boost your workforce. You get the idea. As much as possible, look to the horizon.
Free Time Is Freeing
Try not to schedule every minute of every day. If you leave a half hour, more or less, of daily unplanned time, you can extend meetings that turn out to be really productive, give spur-of-the-moment media interviews, make impromptu follow-up calls and do other spontaneous things without falling behind.
Some days, you might want a little time just to meditate. After all, hectic itineraries can be stimulating for the brain but taxing on the body. With a little unwinding, you’ll be in better shape to keep charging forward.
In the end, everyone has certain pursuits that they love. They’re energizing, and they fuel passion. If you can build your calendar — and, by extension, your company’s future — around your favorite undertakings, you’ll always be poised for success.