<!-- 18. --> Leadership in Management

Getting balanced

Getting balanced – how to take control and manage yourself and your true value

  1. Keep focused on your key goals. Don’t be distracted from achieving those things that really matter to you.
  2. Work smarter rather than harder. Don’t confuse long hours with effectiveness or efficiency. Moving paper around does not create value. Focus on the urgent and important.
  3. Avoid the use of negative internal dialogues such as ‘I can’t…’ and ‘Yes, But!!!’ Stop saying ‘I will try!’ Instead say ‘I will’ – we often defeat ourselves before we begin. Choose your internal messages carefully – eradicate negative thoughts.
  4. Avoid using words and expressions such as ‘ought’ and ‘should have’ – they infer feelings of guilt and anxiety. Instead use the words ‘I could have’ and ‘I had the choice’ – they are more liber­ating and neutral in their effect on you – they put you in control rather than make you feel guilty.
  5. Make sure you are achieving the right balance between your personal and work life.
  6. Develop your ability to manage stress. If necessary attend a training programme or read a book on stress management. Be clear as to what triggers stress in your role.
  7. For each trigger develop coping strategies to manage them:
  8. Stand back from the situation and find time to collect your thoughts and response.
  9. Change or avoid the situations you find stressful.
  10. Change your internal response to the stress trigger ‘I will no longer allow myself to react in that way!’
  11.  Change your working hours – begin work earlier and finish earlier.
  12.  Vary your breaks during the day – take time out to refresh yourself – particularly when the pressure is on.
  13. Stay fit by exercising regularly – 20 minutes a day is all it takes.
  14. Learn to relax and take time out for yourself. Reward yourself and do something that you enjoy – playing sport or some other hobby.
  15. Avoid work becoming routine or a ‘chore’ vary your routine and do something different on a regular basis – seek out new expe­riences.
  16. Keep a record of your regular work tasks. Prioritize those tasks that are critical. Ask yourself whether you are getting the best results in these areas? Stay focused on the vital few and avoid trying to do everything.
  17. Review the decisions you make over a couple of weeks and analyze how much time you devote to each one. Are you spending sufficient time on the important things?
  18. When making decisions ask yourself either the cost of getting it wrong or the benefit of getting it right. Allocate sufficient time based on your answer.
  19. Operate a daily mental ‘development diary’. At the end of each day ask yourself:
  20. What did I learn today?
  21. What have I done that was new?
  22.  What have I accomplished?
  23.  What must I do tomorrow?
  24. Say “NO” to people who place unreasonable demands on you.
  25. Make telephone calls rather than spend time writing long e-mails and letters.
  26. Try to reduce the length of all your written communications – e-mails, letters, minutes, memos, reports, instructions by 50%.
  27. Seek out opportunities to make presentations and develop your skills in this vital business area.
  28. Ask close friends to give you real feedback on your perform­ance during meetings, presentations etc.
  29. In preparing for a difficult interview, presentation or negotia­tion, practice or role play it with a close colleague. Get their reactions to your proposed approach.
  30. After attending any training programme make sure you review your notes within a week of your return, make a record of any points that you regard as especially important and that you will apply in your organization. Produce a short report for your manager – better still make a presentation to the management team on some recommendations that the business should consider taking.
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