When it’s ok to be RUTHLESS as a leader

When you think of leadership in the nonprofit sector, you don’t usually think of the word ‘ruthless’ at all. Being harsh and sharp doesn’t work with people but it does work well when it comes to simplifying your schedule.

I was challenged earlier this year by my business coach to take a close look at my schedule and automate, delegate or eliminate as many things from my schedule as possible. He encouraged me to seriously consider every task I do and ask myself how I can turn it into a system that would significantly simplify my work efforts.

Let me give you some examples of things I do every day and how I changed the way I handle them. (Once you have read this post, I challenge you to do the same this weekend and start Monday with much less on your to-do list.)



Old Approach Results New System
Keeping in touch with clients on a regular basis Called them as I got the chance, sent an email every now and again, hope that they don’t take their business elsewhere My feelings: guilt, fear, disgust, embarrassment.  Clients feel apathy, disengagement, lack of loyalty Set up an automated semi-annual keep-in-touch mail campaign that will take me two hours/year to manage
Making sure my team has all the resources they need to succeed Personally email each team-mate the resources they need (often they would ask me for them instead of me having them ready for them) My feelings: shame, insecurity, worry, embarrassment. Team feels sceptical, doubtful, frustrated. Built a website with all the training tools listed and flow charts letting them know how to use the resources – added some training videos also.
Sorting email Email overload! Too many emails, too many accounts, too much junk coming in! My feelings: overwhelm, anger, frustration, out of control.  Centralized all my email accounts into one spot, unsubscribed from time-wasting emails, took email functionality off my phone.

Which process have you recently systemized that took a ton of pressure off of your task list?

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