You have no doubt heard of the Eisenhower matrix? This tool was created from the organisational principles used by the famous 5-star general to organise the D-Day landings on 6th June 1944, an operation for which he was appointed Commander-in-Chief.

In December 1943 –less than 6 months before the landing, which involved 9,000 boats and almost 300,000 men in an operation that changed the world – Eisenhower said: “I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.”

As a business leader, in which area(s) are you most active?

Your response to this question is crucial, as it is linked to two key subjects:

  •   Give your teams responsibility to save time and improve efficiency – this is a matter of management, delegation, knowledge of your team and anticipation.
  •   And focus your time on the Essentials.

We often meet very demanding executives who think they are setting an example to their team by making a point of arriving before their employees in the morning and leaving last in the evening.

Yet this is a strange reasoning: would you measure the value of a manager or leader by the time spent in the office?

Certainly not! The only value of a leader is to lead the organisation to “success – economic, social and environmental success”. And the time spent outside the business in benchmarking, getting inspiration from good ideas or finding some, in order to understand client expectations, discovering possible changes of direction in the business, the time spent observing staff to help them grow, this time, the time in box A, this is the leader’s time!

3 questions for you:

  •   So where do you spend your time? Is the important sacrificed for the urgent?
  •   Do you direct your commitments, or do your commitments direct you?
  •   Are you the type who does everything, or who gets everything done?

You are a leader, so lead! And direct your own time from now on!

The business executive and the Eisenhower matrix