Learning Lunch: How are you spending your time?

Welcome to the first SEA Learning Lunch! Once a month there’ll be an interactive activity to try alone or with your team, to support your development in the areas of leadership, enterprise and social impact.

This month, we’re looking at how senior leaders can make sure they’re using their time effectively and are creating opportunities to nurture and grow the talent in their organisations.

Activity: Empty your in-tray (30 mins +)

Take 10 minutes to think about your average working week. Write down the tasks and responsibilities you currently carry out on post-its and put them on your wall or on a table. Now consider the following:

  • How much time do you spend leading and developing your team?
  • Are you spending your time leading the right people?
  • How much time is spent on activities unrelated to your current role that prevent you from doing what you should be doing?

 post it

Now think about your ideal working week:

  • How many hours per week would you spend leading and developing your team?
  • What tasks and responsibilities would you let go of?
  • Who in your team could take on these responsibilities? (If no-one, how can you bring someone in? Temporary role, paid internships, volunteers etc?)

At this point, it can be helpful to invite your team into the room (if they’re not there already) and ask them to pick up any post-its with tasks they should be doing as part of their role, or that they are interested in taking on as a development opportunity.

While delegating these tasks might take time initially, it will free you in the longer term and allow you to spend more time coaching and growing the talent in your organisation.

How can this activity be helpful?

At each stage of our development, it’s useful to consider the mindset shift that occurs as we move along the leadership pipeline. Often, we cling to the tasks and responsibilities of previous roles that made us successful, rather than prioritising the fundamental part of our current role which is developing people.

By opening up the leadership pipeline, we not only make ourselves more effective as leaders, we are helping to build resilience in our organisations by providing new challenges and opportunities for the talented teams we lead.

Further Reading:

Six Leadership Passages – An Overview” by Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter

To learn more about leading yourself, your team and your organisation more effectively, join us for ‘Leading Growth for Senior Leaders’, starting in Glasgow 22 & 23 November 2017.

NatWest Top 100
Living Wage
Scottish Government