by Ann Tardy, JD, CSP
We just kicked off another leadership mentoring program for one of our clients.
And I’m bracing myself for the inevitable… Before the end, someone in the program will confess, “I’m so busy. I haven’t connected with my Mentor.”
Of course you’re busy! That’s how you got into the program. By successfully doing a lot of things – by being really great at your job.
Here’s the acute reality: there is nothing urgent about mentoring.
Mentoring is important but it is not urgent. And that’s why we need to do it.
If we are committed to successfully managing AND leading, it’s imperative that we learn how to distinguish and serve the urgent (the issues, the immediate needs, the emergencies) while making time for the important. It’s a critical, yet overlooked distinction of strong leadership.
So how should we define “important”?
- growing ourselves and others
- honing skills and creating new experiences
- discovering fresh approaches and perspectives
- collaborating, innovating, and improving
- recognizing, appreciating, and celebrating others
- connecting and building trusting relationships
By participating in a mentoring relationship, we have the opportunity to practice the art of intentionally advancing the important while effectively managing the urgent.
And if we can learn how to make time for the important-but-not-urgent, we’ll have an impact at work (and in life) well beyond our job titles.
So how do you advance the important while managing the urgent?
- Find something to care about (what’s important to you?)
- Master communications (listening, speaking, expectations, conflict)
- Learn to delegate effectively (develop, don’t dump!)
- Tackle procrastination and time-zappers
Frankly, I don’t care if participants accomplish their goals in the mentoring program. I only care that they care.
When we are intentional with our time, our relationships, and our communications, we can undertake the important-but-not-urgent, navigate the urgent, and make a difference that ripples.
This article was originally posted at www.anntardy.com.
Ann Tardy, JD, CSP is a faculty member of LEADERSHIP USA.