Management Tactic #35: Ignore Your Biggest Responsibility

Here’s a simple test to see if you are a great leader instead of just a good one:

  1. Think of your biggest responsibility at your job. The most important project, the one thing that you have to get done right and on time.
  2. Place yourself on one of those days when your biggest responsibility is your only responsibility. It’s crunch time.
  3. How do you treat the people around you at that time?

Did Genghis Khan act like a jerk on busy days? Nope. And neither should you.

There’s a broad spectrum of ways you can answer that question honestly. Maybe you run around frantically, showing people with your physicality how busy you are. Maybe you tell people that everything else needs to be put on hold until after crunch time, even the smallest questions and requests. Maybe make people feel that their work is less important than your work by getting angry or overly blunt with anyone who crosses your path that day.

Or…maybe you smile. Maybe you feel stressed but your outward demeanor is relaxed (demeanor is contagious–over people around will catch on). Maybe when someone comes up to you and says, “I know you’re busy, but…”, you listen to them, chat for a few minutes, and suggest you talk more in detail after the day has passed. Maybe you ask the people around you if they need anything instead of expecting them to anticipate and cater to your needs. Maybe you ignore your greatest responsibility in tiny, bite-sized chunks so you can still be a human being to those around you.

It’s these moments, these days when we’re the most stressed–and for good reason–that great leaders are formed. Which type will you choose to be?

Daily Quickie: A friend just wrote an awesome, inspiring post about why he quit his job as a successful lawyer to open a food truck restaurant. This is a must read.