Leadership Lessons

Setting Priorities

Leaders often have the freedom to set priorities to decide where they and their team should focus their time, effort, and resources. It sounds easy, but can be a tall order.

Plenty of people focus on things they control, but which don’t really matter. Everyone has a large number of tasks to be done which are largely low priority busywork. Even if these are accomplished, they rarely lead to results of any significance.

On the flipside, there are many topics of great importance which a good number of people focus on continually even when they are not in a position to have much if any influence on changing the outcomes. They talk and complain and spend a tremendous amount of time thinking about important issues, yet have no influence over the results.

The sweet spot is, of course, focusing our time, effort, and resources doing the work that matters where we also have control and can make a difference. This sounds obvious, but experience shows it’s very easy to get caught up in the minutia that doesn’t matter or distracted by the significant issues we can’t change. The question leaders need to continually ask themselves is: Of all the things I can control, what matters most?

Setting Priorities

Each month, the HR Center for Learning and Leadership spotlights an excerpt from a leadership publication.

Recommendations for future leadership lessons may be submitted to askHR@baylor.edu.