Learn How to Be a Better Leader in 4 Simple Steps

Our company is more than just a promo and print services provider. When my grandfather founded it nearly a century ago, the whole idea was to save people time in their workday, so they could be more productive and efficient and get out the door on time. We’ve been doing that ever since. But who knew that by doing that, we were also helping to create leaders!

Those of us who are business owners or managers often pride ourselves on our commitment. And often, we “demonstrate” that commitment (intentionally or not) by spending an exorbitant amount of time at the office. We think we’re showing leadership and setting an example of how to be a better leader for employees.

Do Your Minutes Match What Matters?

Last week I came across a fascinating article about how to be a better leader in Forbes. In it, Jeff Kauflin shares some excellent thoughts about how to be a better leader. And interestingly enough, it has to do with how much time you spend in the office—but perhaps not in the way you thought.

The article highlights results of a survey conducted by Stewart Friedman, a professor of management at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He surveyed 300 MBA students before and after completing a “Total Leadership” course he was teaching. He asked them about four vital areas of their lives: work, family, community and personal happiness. Then he asked each student to divide up 100 “percentage points” among the four in terms of the importance they placed on each.

Does Your “Attention” Need Attention?

Next, he asked the students to do the same thing, but base the percentages on how much of their attention they focus on each one. The answers were surprising, and perhaps very telling.

While respondents placed roughly equal importance on work/school/career and home/family (34% each), their actual attention didn’t reflect that, with work (56%) getting more than twice as much attention as family (23%). Community and personal happiness also received far less attention than their importance would have suggested.

How to Be a Better Leader? Find Balance.

You might look at these numbers and think “well it’s bad for family life, but it was probably good for the business.” Not so fast. Because after these MBA candidates refocused their time and attention in each domain to better align with the importance they placed on it, they reported that things got better at work.

Why? They could focus more clearly on work while at the office, because they were happier and knew loved ones were getting more of their attention. Co-workers enjoyed a better atmosphere and a more predictable schedule from their managers. Several other benefits were also mentioned.

4 Steps You Can Take Now to Be a Better Leader

The article suggests you can use the same process as the students surveyed to improve your own brand of leadership. Here’s how to be a better leader now:

  1. Divide Your Life Into Four Sectors

Maybe it’s the same ones as in the survey (work, family, community and personal happiness). Or perhaps you would change them slightly. But pick the four most important factors or domains that fight for attention in your life.

  1. Rate Each Area for Importance

Take 100 “percentage points” and divide them among those four areas to reflect the importance you place upon each. Answer this one with your heart—we’re not judging behavior here.

  1. Rate How Much Attention You Spend on Each

Think about hours in the day, anxiety, worry, focus—all the things that represent attention devoted to each area. Again, divide up those 100 points to see where you are actually “spending” them in daily life.

  1. Reflect on the Results; How to Be a Better Leader Will Emerge

What can you do to put more of your attention on what really matters to you? The article has some ideas. One answer is to set aside more “unbreakable” family dates for important events or just together time. Another – make a serious commitment to help the community, the environment or society in a broader sense. Volunteer your expertise.

The areas of your life that will receive more of your attention will be happier and more satisfying, naturally. But that will also be true of your workplace, even if you are spending less of your time and anxiety there. You’ll get more done, and office relationships and productivity will benefit. The office will be a better place because your mind is in a better place!

We’re Ready to Help

Now that you know a bit more about how to be a better leader, do you need to find more balance in your life and more time away from the office? Our promo and print service can help. And it will benefit many of your co-workers too.

For almost 100 years, our award-winning, ISO-certified team has been offering print supply chain and promotional product services and technologies that create efficiencies to save time and money. Contact Superior today or reach out to one of our print and promotional marketing sales reps and ask for a free promotional product and print supply chain audit.

Share this article: