Hi, this is Erica. Thanks for joining me today for another season of Leadership on the Ground. In this season, we are covering the Timing of Leadership which is all about answering the question of when. Time is a precious resource, a nonrenewable resource. So learning how to use it, leverage it, and turbo-charge it in our life and in our career can be a gamechanger. Okay. Let’s get started.
You are listening to Leadership on the Ground Season 7: The Timing of Leadership. Throughout the previous six seasons of Leadership on the Ground, we’ve covered the essential basics of leadership in the 21st Century, leading in real-time, and the rhythm, tensions, realities, and the context of leadership. So for this new season, we cover the critical discussions around the timing of leadership which is all about answering the question of when. Learning how to use, leverage, and turbo-charge time will be a gamechanger for you and your organization.
And now, here are your hosts, Erica Peitler and Todd Schnick.
Todd: Alright. Welcome back. This is Episode 9: The Consequences of Good and Bad Timing. Our final episode for season 7 The Timing of Leadership. Going to be a very intriguing conversation. I am your host, Todd Schnick, joined by my friend and colleague, Erica Peitler. Erica, I can’t believe we’re already at the end of season 7. Mt favorite episode last season on the Context of Leadership was the consequences because that summed everything up about how to be thinking about context. I am looking forward to this conversation. I suspect there’s going to be so much. Lead us off. I imagine there are both positive and negative consequences of timing.
Erica: Yes, there are. There are positive and negative consequences. Let’s start off with the most important one, I think, which is if you have good timing and good leadership around your timing. You’re going to make a lot of entry points. When you make a lot of entry points, you make a lot of good things happen. When you miss entry points, not only do you miss opportunities but bad things can happen. So entry points made, entry points missed or positive and a negative consequence that we need to really be mindful of.
Todd: Celebration or regret.
Erica: This is another big one. You can either make something happen and celebrate and feel like, Man, we seized the moment. We got what we wanted. We were out there. Or we regret not taking the risk. We regret not making the move. We talked about foresight and insight. You can either celebrate your good fortune of having seen the evolving landscape and taken advantage of the timing and gotten yourself out there and you made it happen or you might say, Hindsight. I had that idea. I knew the insights but we didn’t have the risk tolerance. We didn’t follow our instincts. So we have some regret because we were there but we didn’t push the button.
Todd: Good, proper, well-planned, good sequencing over chaos.
Erica: This is an important one. The culture which we were talking about in the last episode, is your organization planning and sequencing and looking to get set up to take advantage of entry points? Or is there chaos and confusion around? Do people have a sense of the context of why we’re doing things? Or do we have that disorganization and that chaos? That’s a big consequence of good or bad timing.
Todd: Well, thinking about good or bad timing. I imagine there’s something to do with energy and talent too, right?
Erica: Well, certainly from an energy standpoint, a positive consequence if you do have good timing is you’re creating energy. You’re creating that energy. You’re creating that momentum. And if you have bad timing, you could be destroying energy or you could do that momentum kill. Energy is really, really an important positive or negative consequence of having good timing.
Now, talent. You mentioned talent. Positive and negative consequences. The positive consequence of talent and what we talked about in some earlier episodes, getting them ready now, making sure we’re doing the succession planning, the positive consequence of that is that we have a strong talent bench and we’re realizing the potential of our talent. If we don’t do that, the negative consequences will have a weak talent bench. When those opportunities hit or those growth entry points hit, we won’t have the people in place to be able to take advantage of it. It’s really, really important.
That goes back to that in-service mindset. We need to be in-service of building our talent bench and not being so self-serving around our own time requirements and our own issues because at the end of the day, we’ll get what we sow which is a weak talent bench.
Todd: Any others we should think about?
Erica: The only big one and it just like entry points at the top of the list, at the very bottom of the list, I would say the biggest positive consequence of good timing is making good investments and good spends of your time. Being really mindful, being really clear, being respectful about where you should be putting the big rocks of your life and where do you want to be placing your time? the negative consequence is, if you don’t do that mindfully and you don’t do that respectfully, you’re going to have some regret because you wasted your time. So just want to be mindful. You want to be able to get some returns on your investment or you want to at least get pleasure and personal fulfillment out of your investment. You don’t want to get frustration out of your time investments.
Todd: It’s worthwhile to invest time under time management. Right?
Erica: Exactly. Exactly.
Todd: I think we’re afraid to waste time – I’m not doing anything productive. If you don’t do that investment of really thinking time through, then you’re going to end up wasting it later.
Erica: Yeah. One thing I will tell you that people will ask me all the time because there are more people who have weak time management skills than those who have strong time management skills. Everybody’s always like, “Give me a tip.” One of the things that I tell people is, “Time is very personal. So while I may have a tip or Todd may have a tip or anybody else may have a tip, you have to really make it work for you and you have to personalize it for you.” So because I may use remember in the days of day planners, people would use day planner or whatever, or you may use your iPhone, don’t use what other people use and think it’s going to work for you. Make it work for you.
Todd: There’s a lot of tools out there. You can find one that will work for you. Alright. Erica and I will return after this short break. We’ll be right back.
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Todd: Alright. Now back with Erica Peitler. The Consequences of Good and Bad Timing. Erica, it’s very clear to me now that there are moments when poor time management is a major disruption.
Erica: It’s such a disruption. We don’t often think about disruptive behaviors like time management because it tends to be silent. Right? Someone is off there mismanaging their time and unless it really affects us or when it affects us on our part of a project, then it becomes a disruptive behavior. But we tend to think of more flagrant and overt or extrovert ways of expressing behaviors but this one is a real concern for me as a coach and it’s a real concern in organizations.
I’ll tell you why. When senior executives have poor time management skills, the world is a really challenging place for the people who work in that organization. These senior level folks who might be generations in these roles and now all the sophisticated technology and new ways of doing things is coming along and they become constraints and they become bottlenecks. They don’t have the capacity. Or the organization is changing so fast and they just think that they can keep doing what they’re doing with a little bit of extra work ethic. They try to work ethic their way through their time management and their capacity deficits.
You can’t get there from here. You’re not going to be able to do that. You really need to be able to fundamentally reboot on the time management side. People think it’s harmless. It really is not. It slows everybody down. Quite frankly, it’s selfish and it’s frustrating if you don’t get to the heart of it and you’re in a senior level position. In high performing organizations, certainly in large organizations today, you will not get promoted unless you demonstrate upfront the capacity to manage your time because that’s a lead in your self skill. No one is going to put you in charge of other people if you are a train wreck yourself. Small to midsize businesses, different story, you have loyalty, you’re going to be able to withstand that. Here, there’s a lot of mistakes, I think, that CEOs of small to midsize companies make. They’ll tolerate some of their senior leaders who have poor time management skills being in roles that they probably shouldn’t be in because they are constraints to the organization.
The right thing to do is to take them our of that leadership role and let them be that individual contributor and let them do the work that they need. Because if you don’t have the courage to make that bold move, you probably are underestimating the pain you’re causing across the organization and high potentials just won’t work long term under people who don’t have good time management skills. They’ll get too frustrated.
Todd: You know what else have been interesting to me to think about is I never really realized that idea generation and brainstorming is impacted by timing. Because all great ideas aren’t necessarily great business opportunities. Explain that.
Erica: Well, that is a very wise statement. All ideas are not all business opportunities and yet ideas are personal. We always want to respect that idea but it may not be at the right time in the marketplace to be able to realize that idea for a number of factors: life cycles, certain indicators out there. Innovation is something that we’re all going after today faster and faster. It’s great if you could be new and first and it’s great of you can be second and better. If you’re third, you’re going to make a living in the market. And if you’re fourth, you’re going to struggle. So we have to be able to understand, is the idea of first mover, can we make money at it? Do we have the funds to invest? Do we have the tolerance to be able to maybe go into a red figure of investment for a period before we’re able to get the return on that investment?
Not all ideas are good business opportunities and we have to have the discipline to be able to walk away from a personal good idea because we can’t make money at it. If we can’t make money at it, it’s really not a good business opportunity.
Todd: Lots to think about there. I suspect there’s also something about the timing of unique business challenges with the temperament of a leader. Yeah?
Erica: This is such a great important topic to talk about. The consequences of getting this right and the consequences of getting this wrong are enormous and I see this happen a lot. I saw it in my own career. I was someone who was turnaround or a transformational person. People would say, “Hey, there’s some crazy thing we need to do over here. Let’s put Peitler on it because she’s okay with the VUCA world or the blank piece of paper.” I’m not afraid to go into a messy situation, follow the money, get to know the people, figure it out, put plan together.
But if you take someone who is a little bit more of a growth manager, not necessarily able to be in that ambiguous space and you give them a turnaround, they’ll struggle. We talked in an earlier episode about John Flannery wasn’t moving quickly enough. Now, he was a veteran of that organization who was then put in charge of making a transformation. That’s a tough move, to have lived in the organization for that many years and then be asked to turn it around, maybe it could work. You’re an insider. Sometimes outsiders can see things a little bit more quickly and a little bit more clearly and they’re less emotionally attached to it.
But one of the challenges I see is you have to be able to match the life stage of the organization to the temperament of the leader. So you need a turnaround personality and a turnaround time period. You need a growth leader for a growth time period.
A lot of people were afraid to put me in a role that was a growth-oriented challenge because I was so comfortable making changes that they thought, “What if she takes what’s working and makes too mane changes?” Sometimes you got to take a risk and let that happen. So I would move from an organization that would pigeonhole me. I’m like, “Yes, I have those great skills but I want to be able to be mindful and grow out of the other ones.” Usually, what you see is a growth leader not being willing to take the risks that they need to on the transformation and thinking they have more time than they have. What happens is the organization suffers and then someone has to come in from the outside to clean it up.
Todd: Alright. Well, goodness, we are nearing the end of not only this episode but season 7 The Timing of Leadership. Erica, any final comments, thoughts, remarks on this important concept of time?
Erica: I enjoyed this season so much. I’ve enjoyed all of them but looking at this question of when is just so critical. At the top of the season, we talked about how time is a precious resource. It’s a nonrenewable resource so learning how to use it and leverage it and really turbo-charge it in our lives and in our careers is so important. I really feel like we covered so much of that that I hope our listeners really took away a couple of tidbits and a couple of pieces. Listen to this podcast, a couple of times if you didn’t catch it all. I feel like it was just so important to talk about the why and the when and help leaders to understand how they’re connected. So thank you for this opportunity.
Todd: Thank you for letting me be a part of it. Should anyone have questions, comments, concerns about any of this content from seasons 1 through 7, Erica, how do they find you?
Erica: You can find me at Erica@EricaPeitler.com. Again, I’m on Twitter at @EricaPeitler. I’m on LinkedIn. And Leadership Rigor, if you haven’t yet gotten a copy of it, is available on Amazon.com.
Todd: Alright. And methinks the continuing saga of Leadership on the Ground probably will make another appearance down the road. I look forward to that. Todd and Erica signing off from season 7. We’ll see you in due time.