What Are My Priorities?

In our latest leadership report, we discuss the challenge of prioritizing in our fourth challenge facing leaders today, “What Are My Priorities?”

What Are My Priorities?

When things feel particularly chaotic my colleague, Leah, likes to refer to the title of the 2022 movie Everything Everywhere All at Once. I haven’t seen the movie, but will say that the title nicely sums up what it feels like to be a leader in 2024.

As a C-suite leader, you’re trying to figure out what to focus on and naturally that lack of clarity trickles down the organization no matter how much you try to shelter your teams. It can lead to everyone feeling a bit like a pinball, on a frenetic path with twists and turns that hopefully end up landing in the right place, but don’t always.

So what does this mean for you? The key question to ask yourself is – what is in my control? In my years of working with leaders I’ve noticed that when work feels chaotic leaders tend to either over delegate and abdicate certain responsibilities too much to hyper focus on the most important things, or under delegate and keep everything too close to their chest.

Here are some things you can try yourself, or share with leaders on your team to create clarity about priorities:

  1. Evaluate your team structures. If your leaders have too big of a span of control, they’re automatically going to be pulled in way too many directions. Are there ways to break teams down and make them smaller so they can be focused on the most important priorities? This aligns with The Roundtable’s view on behaviour change, which is to get super specific which leads to a higher likeliness of seeing significant change in one thing vs. no change in many things.
  2. Define decision making accountability. Similar to a RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed), create a DACI (Driver, Approver, Contributor, Informed). ‘Driver’ is the person or role who drives the decision making. ‘Approver’ is the one with authority to approve. ‘Contributors’ are people that may have expertise, insights or relevant information, and ‘Informed’ are the people or roles that should be kept informed but aren’t directly involved. Identify the “DACI” for each type of decision including strategic, operational, financial, people, etc. Be honest with yourself about the role you’re currently playing in decision making on your team, and what is required.
  3. Communicate decision accountability clearly. Once you’ve identified as a team, who is ‘DACI’ for each decision, share it and stick to it. Have your team hold you accountable and hold them accountable if old habits creep in. When done well, this will both free up some of your time and empower others. Win win!
  4. Evaluate your work with the 80/20 rule in mind. The 80/20 rule (or the Pareto principle) is that roughly 80% of results come from 20% of action. To translate this into work you can use the Eisenhower Matrix. Make a list of the 10 things you spend the most time on. Circle the two that truly drive your results and do more of those. Look at the others and eliminate ruthlessly. A way to categorize is:
  • Delegate – These are tasks that are urgent but not as important.
  • Defer – These are important but not as urgent.
  • Delete – These are neither important nor urgent. Note that it might feel uncomfortable to delete something that you think might someday be important, so if that’s the case, write it down somewhere so you don’t entirely forget about it, but consider it to be very far on the back burner.

Our Roundtable Team Coaching solutions can help you and your teams get the clarity they need to accelerate performance. Reach out to set up a complimentary call. And if you’d like to read about more of our Leadership Trends, download the report here.



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