Successful Leaders Set Priorities Each Day

Leadership PriorityIt snowed in Blacksburg, Virginia, a few days ago. We were prepared by having firewood and food, so we didn’t have to travel for a while. We live in the woods with a half-mile of private unpaved, unmaintained road between the paved road and our door. When we have a deep snow, we must order a scraping or do it ourselves, or wait until it melts to be able to drive to town. We chose to live in this sanctuary. Our priorities are peace and quiet.

We must, therefore, prepare for inclement weather in advance. In the photo, you can see that my priority in clearing my deck was to clear a path to the gas grill. The rest didn’t matter. It would melt soon. My priority was to be able to cook steaks and hamburgers. In my life, eating well is a priority. I set my priorities with intentionality.

Church leaders are spiritual leaders who lead the spiritual journey. They are, however, conflicted when challenged to produce measurable results, such as member engagement, financial results, program development, etc. It’s important to be stewards of what has been given to us. Therefore, those in ministry have multiple priorities.

It’s no different for leaders in the nonprofit, educational, or business sectors as well – the key to success is to set priorities.

First, define the vision and short-term goals. Next, create an action plan with priorities and action dates. Finally, develop the baby steps to get there (wherever there is…). I call these baby steps Daily Value Deliverables (DVDs). DVDs are daily. DVDs are related to our vision and goals. DVDs are outcomes, not activities. DVDs define 3 things that you must do each day.

Here is how the DVDs discipline works:

  • DVDs reflect your vision (the WHY)
  • DVDs relate to your action plan (the WHAT)
  • DVDs are things you will complete during the day (will means must – no deferments allowed)
  • Plan the DVDs for each day the day before (the day of is too late!)
  • Review DVDs at the end of each day and learn from yourself (and set DVDs for the next day)
  • Put DVD planning and review on your calendar (25 minutes)
  • Look over your DVDs first thing in the morning (5 minutes) (the HOW)
  • Time-activate each DVD on your calendar (the WHEN)

Take time to plan. If you don’t think you have time to plan, then ask yourself if you have time to do things over, or if you have time to fail.

Plan your work and work your plan.

Here’s to our success!

Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

(c) 2013 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.


Hugh Ballou (Author)