I'm very glad to feature a guest post from one of my former MBA students, Brandon Jones of Leadership Done Right. Please make sure to check out Brandon's blog and follow his thoughts on leadership.
When you are a leader, you have many responsibilities. To effectively handle each responsibility, you need to actively dedicate your time to them. With a limited number of hours in the day, this can be very challenging.
Since you are human and can’t do everything all the time, how do you decide what to do, what not to do, and how or when to do it? For that, you need to be strategic and have a leadership strategy.
What is a leadership strategy?
Every leader has a unique leadership style. Some leaders spend most of their work day talking to coworkers, employees, or bosses and then work late into the night. Others spend much less time talking to others because they work in their office all day long. There are also leaders that fall somewhere in between.
Whatever your leadership technique, you should have a leadership strategy to deal with challenges, problems, future growth, progress, resource allocation, etc. that comes your way. Your leadership strategy should identify how you act as a leader when various situations come your way.
Your leadership strategy can include a personal vision and mission statement. It can also outline responsibilities you will handle and what will be handled by others. Your strategy can be very detailed set of rules or it can be simple standards you try to follow on a consistent basis.
Why should you have a leadership strategy?
When you are strategic, you have a leadership strategy for everything. Dictionary.com defines strategy as, “A plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result.” Your leadership strategy will give you the following benefits.
1. It provides a framework. Your leadership strategy provides a framework you can follow as you lead others. It guides you on what you should handle directly and what others should handle. This is especially beneficial because it helps train the people you lead to make decisions.
2. It will save you time. Your leadership strategy gives you freedom to work on what is really important to you. It saves you time because it provides a predetermined plan you can follow so you don’t have to come up with everything on the spot.
3. It makes choices easier. In leadership you will always have choices to make. Those choices may be very difficult at times, but with a leadership strategy you will have a set approach for how to handle a variety of situations.
How can you use your leadership strategy to be strategic?
With each area of responsibility, you can be strategic. You can determine your goals and what it will take to reach them. You can then identify what activities take up most of your time. If your goals and where you spend your time do not align, you can adjust your life using your leadership strategy.
For example, if you find that you spend a lot of your time answering or problem solving various questions, maybe you can delegate that responsibility to someone else, so you can focus on what is really important to you.
A leadership strategy won’t solve all your problems or make all your challenges go away, but it will give you an outline to follow when you encounter them. It will provide guidelines you can use so your challenges are less difficult when encountered.
Do you have a leadership strategy that you follow? Have you benefited from your leadership strategy? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Brandon Jones is a seasoned professional in leadership, business management, engineering, and project management. He has successfully led teams through projects, challenges, process and procedural changes, etc. He has also helped teams embrace and achieve difficult goals and set visions of the future.
Brandon earned his B.S.–Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University–Idaho and an MBA from the University of Nevada–Reno.
LinkedIn: Brandon W. Jones