Scott Stein (pictured below) is a speaker, facilitator and author of Leadership Hacks: Clever shortcuts to boost your impact and results. In this guest post, Stein offers his simple tips to make us all more efficient around the office…
Many leaders in business are looking for fast track strategies to allow you to do more with less. To accomplish more you need to learn how to hack your current approach with new ways of thinking and influencing. Here are three leadership hacks to help you make this happen.
- Leverage time by hacking your approach to email
To maximise time, we need to be smarter in the way we use technology and email. Many people have become slaves to email, creating an obsessive need to constantly check and recheck emails to try and stay on top of all incoming communications. To do more in less time we need to hack our approach to email.
New York Times best-selling author Kevin Kruse studied the habits of successful billionaires, entrepreneurs and Olympic athletes. He found that they often created a simple system to streamline their approach. Kruse recommends the 321-Zero system.
Schedule three times per day to check your email (morning, noon and night) and set your phone timer to 21 minutes as a game to get your inbox to zero. Even if you are challenged in getting through all of your emails in this timeframe or reduce checking your email to once per hour, it will provide an opportunity to minimise lost time rather than checking emails every 10-15minutes as well as keeping you focused.
- Boost impact by delegating to your people
Many event planners have staff that report to them for direction, guidance and development. Let’s be honest, we don’t delegate as much as we should. A 2012 Harvard Business Review article titled ‘Why aren’t you delegating?’ found that almost 50 per cent of companies were concerned about the delegation abilities of their people and most did not offer any training on how to delegate.
Generally people do not delegate for two reasons, First, they falsely believe that they will save time if they just do it themselves—rather than taking the time to explain the task and how they want it completed. The second reason is because they don’t have the skills to delegate. They have tried delegating tasks in the past and it didn’t work.
A simple way to delegate is to start by sharing the task and working with your direct report to create a one-page plan together. Start by asking your direct report what steps they believe need to be taken to accomplish the task (not telling them). As these ideas are shared capture them on an ipad or sheet of paper so both of you can see them—which reduces misunderstanding. Once the steps are identified, identify what sequence they should be executed and add timeframes. This approach will improve your relationship and ensure you are involved in the plan that they will execute.
- Hack your team meetings to maximise outcomes
How many meetings have you attended that were a complete waste of time—both yours and everyone else’s? Given how busy everyone is you can’t afford to lose time to ineffective meetings.
One of the biggest challenges to meeting effectiveness is the lack of identifying the specific purpose of the meeting and what outcome needs to be achieved. When the purpose of the meeting is not identified the wrong type of meeting is often selected and expectations are not met (for both internal and client meetings).
There are four types of team meetings: reporting, problem-solving, decision-making and innovation/strategy development. Each of these meetings has a unique format that result in a range of different outcomes. By selecting the right meeting for the right situation and communicating this to your team or your client you increase the effectiveness of everyone involved and eliminate wasted time.
A changing environment and competing priorities are not new to event planners, what is new is the speed with which you have to accomplish things. By taking some time to hack your approach you can fast-track your performance—and give you and your team time to focus on how to make the next event even better.