Prioritization for Busy Managers: Creating Your Leadership Bucket List

By: Courtney Templin

Organize, strategize, operationalize, and energize! In our newest program, Prioritization for Busy Managers, we present dozens of new ideas and quick hacks to ensure managers are laser focused on the most important initiatives. Our first step under “Organize” is foundational around setting up your schedule for success, and we go all the way to the aspirational idea of creating a management bucket list in our final “Energize” section. With January behind us and a big year ahead, you can use this excerpt from our workshop to spark ideas and inspire your team. Let’s create your management bucket list this month!

You can reflect on a few questions first: What would you love to see or do in your role?  What will get you from a good leader to a great leader? What would energize your people? Think big and differently. These may be items that you could make happen right away, or they could be long-term strategies that can be completed in the next year or two. Once you create your list, determine which ones you plan to tackle first and then…just do it.

  • Create a “don’t do” list for your team. Everyone has a “to do” list, but you can save your employees time and make priorities clear with a “don’t do” list.
  • Lead a lunch & learn for your team. You can pick a hot or important business topic OR cover a subject or extracurricular that interests your team. At JB, we have covered topics ranging from negotiating and client service to wellness, gratitude, and travel.
  • Take a walk week. Have meetings with your direct reports while walking this week. It incorporates activity and wellness into your day, and it’s much more memorable than that conference room.
  • Delegate your favorite project. You love it, but your direct report just might love it too. Coach, empower, and support your direct report in this stretch project. Delegation frees you up to tackle more strategic responsibilities.
  • Have a no meeting day. Pick a day of the week and declare it no team meeting day. Meetings can interrupt project and “crank time”. Give your people their time back. You could pilot this for a few months, and it might just stick.
  • Create a team play list. This is a compilation of everyone’s favorite music jams. #happiness
  • Connect them to an expert. Share and open your network to your team.
  • “Ban busy” week. No one can say the word busy this week! Sometimes, we can glorify the idea of being busy. Promote balance and working smarter, not harder.
  • Have a greatest failure contest. If there are no failures, then you’re probably not taking enough risks or trying out new ideas. Encourage your team to step outside of their comfort zone by having a contest. Best failure wins!
  • Invite a direct report to a meeting they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to attend. You may be tired of meetings, but your direct report might just love it.
  • Invest in yourself! Take a leadership workshop or course this month.

This is just one big idea from Prioritization for Busy Managers that we hope you can put into practice. If you’re feeling stagnant in your leadership journey, this is the perfect exercise to infuse some fun, energy, and focus. Let us know if you try any of these challenges, or share your bucket list ideas. I always am looking to expand my list!