Leadership with heart, mind, and soul

Knowing When

Added on by Sam Davidson.

Time is a critical ingredient of leadership. How we spend it, where we find it, what we think it's worth. And while resources abound on the topic of time and its relationship to leadership, I think no element is as crucial as this one:

When are you at your best?

Studies show that students don't learn best (surprise, surprise!) first thing in the morning. The fact that school still begins, then, at 7AM most places is a failure of leadership.

But what about you? Do you know when you're at your best?

I'm no good (work-wise) after about 7PM most days. Whether it's old age, darkness, or some other factor (Jupiter in retrograde?), once the evening comes, I can't make any critical decisions. (It seems that I'm not the only one who feels this.)

I'm at my absolute best first thing in the morning. I wake most days around 5AM and then either get a workout in or get to work (usually depending upon if I'm traveling or my daughter is with me that week). After years of living and leading, I'm finally aware of when I can get optimal performance out of myself.

However, I'm not scheduling any important team meetings at 5:45AM. As a leader, I have to be aware not only of when I'm at my best, but when my team is at theirs (being mindful also of parenting schedules, sleep patterns, etc.). 

That said, it's worth it at your next team meeting to go around the room and determine when everyone is at their best - both when they have availability (time) and bandwidth (energy) to do their best work. 

Success is a function of time and energy, and realizing when we'll have each in plentiful supply means we can get more done in a great way that sets everyone up for their best work.

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