Steps to Management Success – Step 28: Time is Not on Your Side

Written By Rick Frishman Published March 31st, 2010


Time is Not on Your Side

I once asked the president of a huge company what it took to get to the top. “The same thing it took to get started,” he replied, “a sense of urgency.” The people who make things move in this world share this same sense of urgency! Maintaining a sense of urgency can be challenging, but as the motivational poster asks, “If you don’t have time to do it right the first time, then how will you find the time to do it again?”

WHAT IT MEANS: The world is full of very competent people who honestly intend to do things tomorrow, or as soon as they can get around to it. Their accomplishments, however, seldom match those of less-talented people who appreciate the importance of getting started now.

As a manager, your ability to communicate this sense of urgency to the people who work for you is also likely to yield positive results. The best way to do this: show an interest in your people’s projects and their jobs. Check on their progress, and be quick to help in any way you can. Plain and simple, things that you seem obviously interested in are much more likely to get done first and on time, so be interested and stay interested—from start to finish.

ACTION PLAN: Encourage others—and yourself—to make to-do lists and to prioritize them. Strive to do what’s urgent and/or important first. Part of being an effective manager is doing what you have to do, not just what you want to do.

EVEN BETTER: Make it your business to get everything done by a certain time. Deadlines have a proven motivational value all their own. If you have certain projects on your to-do list that will take longer than a week or so, break them down into more manageable and doable stages—and handle them that way. Success is seldom accidental.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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