In reviewing the importance of "lead-manage-do", Brian McDonald of MOR Associates shared with me his essay on "Leading, Managing, Doing - A Balancing Act" (which you can find on the MOR web site.) I've discussed the "lead-manage-do" triangle before, but I'd like to review the key points from Brian's essay.
First, the definitions:
- Leading The focus on the more strategic aspects of our role: tracking trends, anticipating future needs, developing vision and strategies to achieve goals, engaging others.
- Managing Working to organize, allocate, and coordinate people & processes: drafting goals and operational plans, allocating resources, budgets, assigning responsibilities.
- Doing The actual tasks: collecting data for a report, providing help of a routine nature, developing basic business processes, dealing with day-to-day email and phone calls.
So, what can leaders do to "do" less and "lead" more? Brian lists these 4 steps to help:
- Be clear in setting your priorities. Do you know your top priorities? Spend time only on the important things, not just the "immediate" items.
- Reduce the amount of time spent doing by handing some of these "doing" tasks off to others (delegating.) Set direction, establish priorities, and hold people accountable.
- Ensure that you have sufficient resources - and in right places - to get your organization's tasks done. Hire the best and continuously develop.
- Become more efficient in how you use your time. Be decisive, use defensive calendaring, avoid multi-tasking, organize, reduce the time spent on email, use meeting time wisely.