This question was put forth by a colleague on LinkedIn. I found the question quite interesting, and included my response below.
Prioritize the “great” work differently than the “good” work, and avoid the “bad” work.
Each day we are all challenged to give our time to different activities. Some of these activities are not worth our time, and most people manage that work, or the “bad” work out of their calendar. The challenge, whether the work is strategic or not, is to maximize the amout of time spent on the “great” work while taking enough care of the “good”work.
Build a management system to deal with the majority of the “good” work. Put “alerts” in place that will help you monitor the “good” and “bad” work so that you are able to manage by exception and optiimize your time. The more you are able to deliver, the less time you have to spend managing the daily work thereby freeing up your focus on the strategic work.
When you cannot answer a question, tell the audience. Transparency and authenticity is paramount for change leaders. Be honest, people understand that you dont always have all the answers, and commit to getting the answer offline and follow up. If you fail to demonstrate these leadership traits, people will not follow you.
If people lose faith in you and become skeptical on your leadership style, you will inhibit your ability to assess how change is being accepted. You will find yourself in a downward spiral, leading to more “bad” work and less time to focus on the “great” work.