Accomplish What Matters Most as a Leader

If you were given several walnuts and a cup of rice and instructed to fit them all into a small mason jar with the lid screwed on, you might find it challenging to do. If you pour the rice in first, the walnuts overflow the top. The trick is to put the walnuts in first, then let the rice trickle in to fill the gaps.

Why are we even talking about fitting rice and walnuts into a jar? It’s the perfect visual for being intentional about what activities and behaviors we make room for in our lives. The walnuts represent the important things that matter most–encouraging and retaining your employees, for one thing. The rice represents the urgent but less critical tasks that often keep us from doing what actually creates the most value.

In his blog post “Organize Spontaneity,” CEO Tony Chimino describes how to accomplish what matters most as a leader, from his own personal experience. It sounds a lot like the walnuts-in-the-jar analogy! As the busy leader of an insurance company, Tony shares that he starts off every week by getting to work an hour early to organize his schedule in a way that forces him to do seemingly spontaneous things to enhance his business and personal relationships. Here’s Tony’s list:

  • Leaving birthday and anniversary messages for my employees
  • Walking around the building and talking to employees
  • Writing electronic “high fives” to employees who’ve done a great job
  • Talking to my spouse about how her week is going
  • Sending texts to my kids on random items
  • Leaving messages for clients to thank them for business
  • Calling prospects and setting up lunch and dinner meetings
  • Checking LinkedIn and other social media platforms

Tony reserves many 15- and 30-minute “private” time slots on his calendar specifically to accomplish those things to prevent them from slipping through the cracks. Calendaring such activities, as well as his personal workouts, allows Tony to experience a lot less stress, knowing his schedule will allow him to accomplish what matters most as a leader–making meaningful connections with the people he leads.

Are you having trouble fitting all the walnuts in your jar of rice? Perhaps you need to start out next week by putting in the walnuts first, and letting the rice fit in once the important pieces are in place! In this candidate’s market, staying in touch with your employees is key to retaining them. If we can relieve some of your stress by providing expert recruiting help to build your high-performing team, contact us today.

Do you wonder if using social media to recruit candidates is really a good idea? You’ll be missing out if you don’t! Click here to learn how to get started.

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