“I have sooooooo much to do.” I would love to get a dollar each time I hear this sentence of people in leadership roles. Of course I get it: asside from people really having a lot to do, this sentence is a certain way of communicating a level of importance . But as a coach, I’m a bit concerned that a leader is telling this story to himself/herself. Because let’s face it: you are paid for having ‘so much to do’. This is not even your leadership role.
Here is what concerns me: If you are telling people around you that you are already packed with topics, you won’t get the needed challenges for the next promotion. And even worse: you are telling your brain to stop thinking creatively about something new and innovative. Because you are already overwhelmed with the status quo.
The difference from team member to a leadership role is the degree of freedom to decide what and when something needs to be done. Unfortunately, many people get into a leadership position, but the mindset doesn’t do the shifting. As a team member, work was assigned to you and you tried to meet the deadlines. But once you change your role, you need to remember to change your mindset, too.
Tasks will always be there. And they all will tell you how urgent they are. There will always be a client, a boss, a team member … a good opportunity, the next deadline, a great idea. This will never ever change. Unless you decide how your day should look like. Leadership starts with self-leadership – and part of this area is your personal time. It is your life and you should be in charge.
Unfortunately, as long as you say ‘I have sooooo much to do’, you are delegating responsibility to the external world – leaving you in a very passive situation. If you want to grow in your leadership, self-leadership is your first step. Start deciding what you really want to do, use delegation, get external support and use the word ‘no’ more often.
If this feels wrong to you, start exploring your inner drivers (e.g. by Coaching). If you sense the need to be perfect, always say ‘yes’ and not offend anyone ever, this inner work would tremendously help you and set you free for your leadership.