Leaders have the quality of emotional mastery, which gives you the strength and flexibility to tackle any challenge, even when all hell is breaking loose, as we covered in the previous blog post in this series. Now we’ll look at two other core qualities extraordinary leaders possess, RELATIONSHIP MASTERY and TIME MASTERY.
Ultimately the quality of your life is the quality of your relationships. How many times have you heard, “business is relationship?” It’s one of those clichés that never escapes us. But one reason we hear clichés again and again is because they are true. Ultimately our capacity to connect, not on a surface level, but on a very deep and personal level, is what allows us to break through the limitations that stop ourselves or any individual or group we are looking to lead to a new level.
Relationships are built not just by practicing rapport skills, but by truly understanding and appreciating where people are coming from—wanting to step in their shoes, understanding their point of view and finding a way to help them meet their needs while they meet the needs of the team and the organization. Facebook and Twitter are great tools, but if your idea of friendship is your Facebook or Twitter circles, perhaps it’s time to look deeper.
How well would you rate your own capacity to go deep in relationships, to penetrate beyond the surface of what people tell you to find out what’s really going on so that you can help people and yourself take things to a new level as a leader?
I don’t have to tell you, in the 24/7 LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ mobile world that we live in today that the mastery of time—learning how to extract greater results from the same hours or minutes—is one of the most important skill sets of any great leader. But truly effective leaders learn not only how to get more out of their time, but they teach others to do the same. It’s so easy to get caught up today in activity and mistake movement for achievement. Every great leader I know learns how to cut through the clutter of to-dos to focus on how to get the results that are necessary more rapidly, more efficiently, and more effectively. For most people today, we’re not hurting for information. We’re drowning in information, but we’re starving for wisdom.
On a weekly basis, the average executive receives more than 500 emails, sits in an average of 14 meetings, receives over 200 inbound phone calls, and is out of the office 65% of the time. That’s not even considering the impact of text messaging and social media. And still they have to figure out how to produce results.
We have more tools than ever before, but very often the tools themselves can become a time thief. The test of leadership is not only getting things done, but often times the greatest reason for failure is good people doing the right thing, at the wrong time. A simple example from our recent economy might be buying a house. It was the right thing to do, but if you did it in 2006 or 2007 it was the wrong time and today you are probably upside down 30-50%. Great leaders are constantly refining their capacity to understand what’s most important to be done and when to get it done to produce the greatest impact.
How would you rate your capacity and your mastery of time, 0 to 10, and what could you do to improve it? This is such an important subject and will be the focus of a future blog.