So, what is your most important resource as a leader?
One of the first things that might come to mind is the amount of available cash and the state of the investment portfolio of the business. While these are certainly important, would you agree that you can always earn more money, find better investments, and eventually find your way back from a financial loss?
Another resource that might come to mind is your network of relationships. The connections you have nurtured in your professional life are important resources in your success. Yet, even if there has been a significant hiccup in a relationship, you can choose to mend it while continuing to meet other professionals and adding to your network.
Your health is another resource that hits high on the most important list. Many times, there is a tendency to not do as much as we might to protect that resource. However, in most cases, we have the control to make adjustments to our daily habits that will positively impact our health. And, when we have a healthier lifestyle, it positively impacts the energy we bring to our work.
So, if your most important resource as a leader isn’t money, relationships or health, then what is it? What these three have in common is that, for the most part, they can all be revived or renewed. There is one resource, though, that cannot be revived or renewed.
That resource is time. With each moment that goes by, that’s it. You’ll never see that moment again.
This is not new news. Yet, even though you know this, how often do you take actions that aren’t in alignment with this knowledge? How much time do you spend in meetings that you don’t need to attend (or that even need to be held at all)? How much time do you spend on doing things that don’t contribute to your business’ top priorities? Where are there opportunities to delegate something that doesn’t require you to do it?
Failure to see time as your most important resource, often results in stress and overwhelm. We become scattered and lose our discipline. When we’re in this state, we also negatively impact those other resources. High stress levels wear away at our health. It may make us impatient and short with others which may damage our relationships. Our thought process becomes clouded and our decision-making may be impacted which can lead to financial missteps.
Time, then, is our most important resource. So, safeguard that resource. Pay attention to how you use it. Where are your opportunities to use it more strategically? Put new habits and disciplines in place that allow you to set and maintain boundaries and act in alignment with your new choices.
Remember, time is the one resource we cannot get back.
Adapted with permission by Center for Executive Coaching.