moving up means working fewer hours, not moreWe live in a world where getting promoted often means not just increased responsibility but increased hours. Yet I’d argue that real leadership results in decreasing your hours as you focus more and more on what only you can do. The balance of your time can be spent training and developing others.

When I was a church planter just starting out, I had to do everything myself– including tasks like going to the post office to buy stamps– because there was literally no one else to do it. So I ended up working long hours, but they weren’t as focused. Yet the more I increased my leadership responsibilities, the more I found myself doing things that only I could do. Because these responsibilities required more attention, the energy drain was greater.

As you increase the number of hours that focus on doing things only you can do, you need to decrease the total number of hours you work: doing less so you can focus the amount of energy you have more wisely and efficiently. 60 hours as a beginning church planter where the scope of responsibility is broad is the equivalent of 45 hours when you’re focusing at a higher level of leadership most of the time. That becomes even more the case when you take on roles that require 100% of your attention– like coaching.

What might that decrease in hours and increase in responsibility look like in your context? What can be done by only you? What skills could you be training others to do? Who could you be developing?