#17 THE LAW OF PRIORITIES: Leaders Understand That Activity Is Not Necessarily Accomplishment

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With so much going on these days, it’s hard to keep tabs on what you really NEED to do!

You are juggling A and B, throwing caution to the wind when it comes to doing this or that, failing to meet deadlines, procrastinating and err… feeling horrible afterwards…. Really, *sigh…it can be hard, but hey it doesn’t have to be!

That’s why the series on leadership continues this month of March to remind us that in order for us to position ourselves as effective leaders, we have to LEARN to PRIORITIZE and be sure to follow through our list of priorities.

You see…leaders never grow to a point where they no longer need to prioritize. It’s something that good leaders keep doing. Whether they are leading a small group, pastoring a church, running a small business or leading a billion-dollar corporation.

Stephen Covey once remarked, “ A leader is the one who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation, and yells “Wrong jungle!”

Many of us need to come to that point where we  literally “scream” to differentiate what’s important and what isn’t because those moments will surely come and all that will be required of us is our ability to FOCUS.

In leadership, the ability to prioritize sets you apart from others. Why? You learn to accomplish more and you get others drawn to your level of effectiveness.

To be effective, leaders must order their lives according to these questions:

  1. What is REQUIRED?

We are all accountable to somebody- an employer, a board of directors, our stockholders or someone else. For that reason, your list of priorities must always begin with what is required of you. Anything required that is not necessary for you to do personally should be delegated or eliminated.

  1. What Give You The Greatest RETURNS?

As a Leader, you should spend most of the time working in your areas of greatest strengths. If something can be done 80 percent as well by someone else in the organization, delegate it. If a responsibility could potentially meet that standard, then develop a person to handle it.

  1. What Brings the Greatest REWARD?

Tim Remond admitted, “There are many things that will catch my eye, but there are only a few things that will catch my heart”. The things that bring the greatest personal reward are the firelighters in a leader’s life. Nothing energizes a person the way passion does.

Activity is not necessarily accomplishment. If you want to continue to be effective, you have to work according to the Law of Priorities.

Examine the life of any great leader, and you will see him putting priorities in action. They recognize that activity is not necessarily accomplishment. But the best leaders seem to be able to get the Law of Priorities to work for them by satisfying multiple priorities with each activity. This actually enables them to increase their focus while reducing their number of actions.

The greatest success comes only when you focus your people on what really matters.

Are you spread out all over the place? Or are you focused on the few things that bring the highest reward? If you are yet to start living by the Law of Priorities, then start now.

Won’t let you go without a hint… So, how do you measure your activity and determine what’s most important? John Maxwell has a principle called the “Pareto Principle”.

The idea is this: If you focus your attention on the activities that rank in the top 20 percent in terms of importance, you will have an 80 percent return on your effort. For example, if you have ten employees, you should give 80 percent of your time and attention to your best two people. If you have one hundred customers, the top twenty will provide you with 80 percent of your business. If your to-do list has ten items on it, the two most important ones will give you an 80 percent return on your time.

Try that and lets see how that works for you.

Leave a comment! 😀

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