So many demands

Stewardship in higher education demands that we prioritize and direct the use of resources so that we can continue to provide access to our campuses, faculty and the learning they deliver. In her blog on Monday Anita shared the importance of stopping and thinking about the decisions we are making before we move forward. Today I want to share a tool that is a classic and powerful model that leaders can use to make decisions on the best way to use their time, commit resources under their control and, most importantly, guide the decisions their people make day to day.

Stephen R. Covey urged us to put “first things first” by focusing on what is truly important. As we decide where to allocate limited financial resources, negotiate the multiple competing demands leaders face and set goals with our team members this simple principle is even more valuable than when he shared in in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, his first book.

time_managementTaking a moment to stop and prioritize based on your institutions’s mission and your goals for your team can help you know when to:

  1. Do it – now
  2. Decide when to do it even when it is not pressing
  3. Dump it
  4. Delegate it

Developing the discipline to proactively make choices, to be able to say no to the urgent demands leaders face that are not actually important to the mission of higher education and to help your people focus on the activities that are directly related to educating our students is stewardship.

Todd Thorsgaard


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