I can’t tell you how many times I get the response “putting out fires” when I ask how a leader’s work life is going. Getting tired of that tyranny of the urgent? To break out of that exhausting, reactive state:
- Write down every issue that has led to a reactive leadership action. After you get that urgent phone call or that employee bursts into your office yet again with a crisis that needs your attention immediately, document the circumstance:
- What happened?
- Why did I (the leader) have to get involved, as opposed to someone else handling it?
- How did it start? What is the root of the problem? What was the trigger?
- And, Why did it become so urgent enough to get you, the leader, off your main things to focus upon it?
2. Decide how to get ahead of it and break the pattern.
- Who needs more training? What specific skill needs to be developed in him/her? What chain of command must be reinforced/followed?
- What process/checklist needs to be developed? Who at the lowest levels possible needs to speak into this?
- What accountability/follow-up must be set up? And what consequences if it happens again?
It’s time to be proactive in your leadership by reducing the crisis responses that throw you off your priorities as you strive to Grow Forward! Contact me at www.paulcasey.org or Growing Forward Services on Facebook if you want to grow to the next level in your leadership.