Monday, 14 November 2011

Where are you spending your time?

As a leader, where are you spending your time?

As leaders, it matters a great deal where we spend our time.  Why?  It matters because where we spend our time indicates to our staff members - and others - what we believe to be important.  For example, if a school principal spends the majority of the day in the office - face glued to a computer screen - it's a clear message that 'office work' is job number one.  Alternatively, if a school principal spends a good portion of the day inside classes seeing what is happening and how students are learning, it's again a strong message.  This time the message is that what happens in the classroom, with students, is at the heart of the work to be done.  Keeping with the same idea of a school principal, consider the students and their families.  If they see the principal in the office most of the time, this conveys a message that the managerial aspects of the role take precedence.  Conversely, if the principal is in classes, or even out and about the school property, there is far greater opportunity to get to know the students and their families, who they are, and what's important to them.  Thus, this becomes seen as important. 

Where you spend your time tells people what is important to you.  As a leader, what's important to you needs to be important to them.  Otherwise, why would you be doing it?

Think about your day today - or any day for that matter.  Consider where you spent your time.  If you can accept the idea that where you spend your time conveys a message to people, what might people think is important to you based on where you are spending your time?

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