Let's be clear about something right away. Busy does not equal effective. Everyone is busy...or make themselves 'busy.' I see it all the time. Leaders who want to over share how hectic their days are...so full of things to do...and important executives to sit next to during meeting after meeting.
So...I hate to break it to those folks who thrive on this sort of thing...but you are failing.
Leadership is not only about going to meetings.
Leadership is not only about getting things done on your task list.
Leadership is not only talking about how busy you are.
Tactics and Excuses
Too many leaders get stuck in tactical decisions (even the most senior executives) and convince themselves that they are actually moving their organizations forward.
Sure, it's easier to feel productive when you're doing things. I love the feeling of (digitally) checking items off my Wunderlist. But, those items are at the end of the process. At some point, I've had to invest significant time, energy and resources into effectively planning the bold moves my organization or my clients need to make.
There are no tactics in that work.
Strategy and Courage
The really difficult work of planning, executing, and completing strategic plans is, in my opinion, the most important work to be done. True plans...fresh ideas that become reality...launching new product lines...addressing major gaps in the organization and doing something about it...THAT is the work of real leaders.
The same old talk, talk, talk, without the plan is worthless.
Why reference courage at this point? Easy...most leaders don't have the courage to build the plans necessary...to take the bold risks necessary...to literally move their organizations forward.
It is far easier to work to maintain the status quo and keep life in neutral, than it is to see what needs to be done and build and execute a plan that gets the organization to an entirely new place.
How About You
Look back over the last five years of your career. What risks have you taken? How have you literally changed your organization for the better? What tangible results can you share?
You have it in you to make it happen. You simply need to go for it.
I'd love to hear from you.