In a hyper-connected world where ‘blue ticking’ is a serious no-no, red notification signs activate some compulsive finger twitching, and the ping of an email hitting your inbox compels you to drop everything and click “open”, it’s no wonder that for the large part, highly successful leaders are worn out! In observing success, it seems apparent that the more successful a leader becomes, the more stress is amplified. Yet, it does not need to necessarily be an inherent part of the journey to success.
“Teams look to leaders for well, leadership and as the age-old adage goes, they will “do as you do, not as you say”. So, if leaders are constantly rushing around from one meeting to the next, too busy to think, too busy to connect, too busy full stop, then don’t expect your team to behave any differently from the way you do,” says Jacqui van Rooijen, Business Strategist.
To activate high-impact leadership, it is, therefore, critical to conquer busyness, and van Rooijen shares five tips on how to do just that in 2024:
1. Eliminate the Word ‘Busy’ from Your Vocabulary:
Language matters. Neuroscience research highlights that consistent thoughts and speech shape our physical environment. Replace the limiting term ‘busy’ with empowering words like ‘productive,’ and observe how your mindset, mood, and even that of your team start to shift.
2. Urgent vs Important:
Apply the Eisenhower Principle to guide prioritisation! Distinguish between urgency and importance to ensure valuable time is invested in tasks that truly matter. If you are chasing urgent all day, so will your team, and then you will never truly move the needle towards achieving your vision.
3. Boundaries and the Power of No:
Embrace the superpower of saying ‘NO.’ In a culture driven by the need to impress and, therefore, a compulsion to say yes to everything, clear boundaries empower leaders to operate from a position of strength. Elon Musk’s success stands as a testament to the strategic power of ‘NO.’ With limited time, he has said no to numerous opportunities, allowing him to focus on what he truly believes in. When you can clearly express your boundaries and, with love and respect, affirm them with a ‘NO,’ your approach to work transforms, embracing a new dimension of peace and purpose.
4. Honour the Time Limit:
Trust flourishes in the small details, like respecting meeting schedules and others’ time. Leaders need to exhibit a dedication to efficiency to foster trust within their teams. Avoid letting meetings exceed their allocated slots; it disrupts your team and breeds reluctance to engage in future sessions. If you’re running short on time, reschedule, and very soon, teams will become adept at optimising and being mindful of their own and others’ time too!
5. Avoid Emails at ALL Costs:
So many futile hours are wasted on emails! Minimise frustration caused by the CC and BCC brigade by using them solely for the transfer of information. Don’t respond to emails unless you are the only person in the business who can answer the question/solve the problem and don’t send any communication in an email that could been done on a call.
“It’s very difficult to make high-impact, meaningful decisions from a place of busyness or anxiety, and the cost to leaders for influence, affluence, and position should not be to compromise your health or peace,” adds van Rooijen. “The transformative power of high-impact leadership is within reach if you choose to conquer busyness; try it for yourself and witness the change firsthand,” she concludes.