“Does having time management skills make you a leader?”

I’ve just been doing a bit of googling – as you do on a Friday afternoon.

I have discovered that the secret to time management is planning, prioritising and delegating. and I’ve also discovered that the secret to leadership is planning, prioritising and delegating.

The question is now “Does having time management skills make you a leader?”

Well lets hear what one great leader has to say about time management. Richard Branson in his blog on 5 August 2016 said  “I’m often asked: how am I able to squeeze so much into my days? My answer is always the same – and simple – if you want to be more productive then start at the start: get there on time”

I have a thing about being on time. A bit too much of a thing really, but being late is not something I accept. And I’m annoying about it because you are late if you are not 5 minutes early. However, in my experience most of the leaders I’ve worked with are on time. They stick to the plan in their diaries. Well it’s either that or they are terrified of being late to my meetings but I don’t flatter myself!

I won’t bore you with the details of why I made the very dramatic switch from always being late to being early but I do remember the moment. Since then I am always early. And what a waste of time that is! I must have wasted hours and days waiting for the appointed time to arrive. I need to train myself to turn up on time. Not before and not after.

I agree with Richard Branson that being late is “incredibly disrespectful. It doesn’t matter if you’re a celebrity or a carpenter, a politician or a painter, a model or a musician, we all only have 24 hours in a day, and no one’s time is more important than anybody else’s”

If you are always going to be on time then you have to always finish on time. You cannot make a meeting if your previous activity overruns. Anyone who delivers a lot of training sessions will have the art of finishing on time down pat but other people seem to struggle with it. Trainers do it because, even on the most engaging of courses, if you don’t hit every single break and end of day on the button then you might as well not bother carrying on because you will have lost your audience to aggressive clock watching. It takes awareness and practise and a degree of preparation but if you do enough of it, and you probably go to far to many meetings so you will, you develop a sort of sixth sense for timing that you can rely on.

I have one tip for you, before I join in on anything I announce what time I’m leaving.  Keep in mind I’m there before it starts giving me the authority to do it. You cannot show respect by turning up late and then announcing when you have to leave.  On the whole I find that what I’m needed for gets done by that time. And if it doesn’t – reschedule the rest of the discussion for another time. Start running over and you won’t catch up all day and that includes your time of sitting at your desk, on your own doing your own work. Make sure that you are not late to that either. Respect your own time as you would other people’s. and whilst it might not solve all of your time management issues, it will go a long way to allowing you to get much more done.

What are your tips for finishing on time?

Bridget Marchi is a learning and development consultant, executive coach and mediator. With over 25 year’s experience in publishing and online fashion she is passionate about working with people to develop strong foundation skills that will support them through their career. Whilst she has extensive experience of delivering classroom style she now offers online learning options with The Time Management ToolBox and Steps to Success, a self-coaching programme for long term success (click the link to get the early bird offer of just £20 – less than half price). She has also published The Management Jigsaw, a management induction course in a book. www.whatdoesamanagerdo.com