5 Reasons Effective Leaders Avoid the “I’m So Busy” Trap

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One of the things I love about the weeks leading up to the Global Leadership Summit is the sense of purpose and urgency that grips our team.

Every year at this time the Willow Creek Association staff gets seized with a powerful sense of resolve (mixed with a generous heaping of fun).

By contrast, I have visited many teams who seem to be caught not so much in urgency as they are in panic.

The tell-tale sign is when you ask someone how they are doing, and reflexively they respond, “Oh, I’m busy. I’m just so busy.”

That’s called the “I’m so busy” trap, and effective leaders avoid it at all cost.

You’ll never hear an effective leader get caught in the “I’m so busy trap” because they know it can actually communicate something quite unflattering…

1. “I’m so disorganized…”

Some people attach a misplaced sense of nobility to the notion of being busy.

But in a lot of cases that frantic pace is just a reflection of poor organization skills and lack of focus.

2. “I don’t have clear goals…”

Without clear goals, a precise strategy and iron-clad priorities it’s easy to just run around from one disjointed activity to the next.

It might look like hard work, but in many cases it’s just squandered energy.

3. “I can’t build teams…”

Show me someone who keeps telling everyone they’re busy, and I’ll show you someone who might not have team-building skills.

Because leaders who know how to build, empower and motivate teams also know how to spread the work around.

4. “I’ve mismanaged this project…”

Nothing will bring out the “I’m so busy” chants quite as fast as a project that has been allowed to run amok.

Rather than fessing up, some people will simply grab onto the “I’m so busy” lifeline.

5. “I’m just trying to impress people…”

Let’s face it.

Our culture has hoisted the notion of “busy” onto such a pedestal that many people have simply learned to mimic the “I’m so busy” mantra merely as a status symbol.

So keep your goals clear, your projects in-line and your teams on task.

You’ll not only be more productive, but you’ll be able to stay way clear of the “I’m so busy” trap too.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Global Leadership Network. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave, Willow & Olive and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.

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