Guest blog entry from Christina Roberts, church planter:
I was recently talking with my coach, sifting through all of the elements that need to be put into place for my next ministry initiative.
I realized in saying all of this that I feel like I am making a Thanksgiving meal. There are a lot of different dishes that need to be prepared for the meal. You have to figure out the exact menu in advance so you can buy all of the ingredients. Yet you can’t buy certain things too far in advance, because you need to make sure they are fresh.
“Effective leaders, in my observation, do not start with their tasks. They start with their time. And they do not start out with planning. They start by finding out where their time actually goes. Then they attempt to manage their time and to cut back unproductive demands on their time. Finally they consolidate their ‘discretionary’ time into the largest possible continuing units. This three step process– recording time, managing time, and consolidating time– is the foundation of leader effectiveness.” — Peter Drucker
This blog entry is part of a seven-part series on some of the central principles of coaching… from the perspective of the one receiving the coaching. How can we get the most out of our coaching relationship?
Principle #5: Focus on one thing
As you move forward in your spiritual growth, stay focused. Concentrate on one thing at a time. Don’t think of everything you could possibly do to grow. Ask yourself, “What’s the fewest number of things I need to do to get the result I would like to see?”
Part of a series inspired by Peter Drucker, an important mentor of mine
Drucker points out that effective leaders supply four basic requirements of any human organization: communications, teamwork, self development, and development of others.
Communications is basic to leading an organization: think vision-casting, facilitating dialogue, encouraging two-way flow of communication.
Good general communication then leads to good sideways communication: teamwork. Any team is made up of individuals with diverse knowledge and skills.
I was recently coaching a guy who was an ADHD-type, all over the map, and he was trying to get organized. Giving him a big grocery list of organizational tasks to engage in would have buried him. Instead, I asked “What is one thing you can do that will maximize your results?”
Through our coaching conversation he decided on a built-in weekly planning time. At the beginning of his week, he goes to Starbucks, sits down, and has his weekly planning time. Getting out of his regular environment and turning off his phone allows him to focus so he can decide what needs to be done that week.
I recently received this birthday greeting on Facebook from my friend Christian Schwarz:
“Happy birthday! Let this year become your most focused ever, full of courage for intentional neglect to get even more powerful & empowering than before.” It felt like a word from the Lord.
Christian often talks about the importance of “intentional neglect.” The not-do list is just as important as the to-do list. When you’re prioritizing, get clarity in terms of what God is truly calling and asking you to do. That requires the courage to also identify those things you’re not called to do—even when they’re good things.