Over the course of an average month, leaders have about 21 working days. When they’re at work, most estimate that a big portion of their time goes toward meetings and administrative tasks. This means leaders have even fewer days to make a real impact on their organization. The big question becomes: How will leaders use their hours to make a valuable difference?

Dave Coffaro, an adviser, coach and author, says that leaders can use each available hour in the month to move their business as far as possible toward the long-term vision.

How can they do this? He has three solid ideas, which we highlight in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

  1. De-emphasize the annual calendar. Leaders can still be moving toward their company’s vision, but they should stay flexible as conditions change. According to Coffaro, managing monthly goals enables flexibility when early signs of changing conditions emerge. He says the best strategic plan guides daily discretionary activities that align with the long-term vision.
  2. Confirm the team’s capacity. When leaders break down annual and strategic plans into daily activities, they get a better feel for how the plan compares to the team’s capacity to perform the required activities. Coffaro recommends asking, “Can we achieve this set of tasks effectively over the next month?” This is useful when considering all goals, even stretch goals.
  3. Perform daily gut checks. Leaders must know how to manage their attention. They can’t be sidelined with frequent distractions. Coffaro says that leader effectiveness is heavily impacted by the use of discretionary time – the time on the calendar that leaders can control. Some gut-check questions he suggests asking include: Where can I add the greatest value today? How can I make the most of my discretionary time today in alignment with my company’s goals? What activities will yield the lowest ROI from investing my attention?

It matters how leaders invest their discretionary time. They set the tone through their focus and what they choose to prioritize. While leaders must use some of their time for mandatory tasks, they can use the rest of their time as wisely as possible. If you lead a team, you can make a difference right now by aligning your day-to-day activities with your company’s overall vision. When you know what you’re working toward, you can better guide your team to success.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Dave Coffaro is a strategic adviser, executive coach and author. He is the principal of Strategic Advisory Consulting Group.