I was reminded last night of how the type and focus of work that you do changes as you move up the ladder of leadership. My mind is still in leader-as-follower zone at times. Sometimes I don’t want to think. It’s not that I don’t care. I just want to get to the actual work. As our present assignment on Field Experience 3 demonstrated and reminded me, however, the higher you move up in leadership, the more the thought IS the work. It is the design of the evaluation, for example, that is the key to an effective evaluation; and a well-delivered presentation on a poorly planned evaluation design will be as shakey as a house built on a weak foundation. So, the true “work” at this stage is not the preparation of the document, it is the thought that goes into creating a solid evaluation.
This is an issue that I addressed in one of my time management papers and in my Summative Evaluation in April. I think we would be well-served as leaders to make time each day to truly think about issues relevant to our leadership role. We are all so busy that the natural inclination is to want to get to the “work” (making the master schedule, working with a program, etc..) without taking time to consider all perspectives, look at new perspectives and information, and get our thoughts in order before beginning to put things in place. This can cause a lack of impact, at best, and a complete collapse at worst. So, as we move up from leadership positions where we are often charged with executing initiatives that others have designed and developed to being in positions to execute our own developments, it is imperative that we periodically set aside the physical and managerial tasks of our daily jobs and make time to put the thought-based aspects of planning, development, design, etc… in the forefront of our leadership.