Three Ways To Develop Margin


06 April 2015

Leadership can require individuals to wear many hats. From manager, facilitator, arbitrator to visionary, constantly piling on responsibilities can leave us with very little margin. Eric Miller, Director of Product Management at Leadercast shares three ways to develop more margin as a leader.

Margin is a new word being used in leadership circles nationwide. Dr. Richard Swenson, who authored the book, Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives, shares that margin is “the space between our load and our limits.”



Everyone has a load. 
Similarly, everyone also has limits.



When we continue to add tasks and responsibilities in our lives, we increase our load. When leaders reach their limits, that’s when margin disappears.

Margin allows a leader to successfully balance the responsibilities they have with work, family, personal pursuits, etc. Eliminating margin removes balance. Without balance, chaos can ensue resulting in missed deadlines and goals, frustration, even failure.

Eric Miller, Director of Product Management at Leadercast shares three ways leaders can develop more margin in their lives:

1. Look at the big picture. At Leadercast, bravery is an essential component of leadership. Leaders must see the big picture when embarking on a task or goal. Eric shares that looking at the big picture can help leaders envision the goals they have set and strategically plan to achieve those goals in light of the responsibilities they have on their plate.

2. Understand what’s important. Priorities are essential when developing margin. Many times, leaders can channel their talent or skills on tasks or goals that may not be line with their overall vision. Therefore it is important to understand what’s important to you as a leader. Establishing priorities for tasks, activities and goals that are important allows a leader to schedule the necessary amount of time to completing those goals while reducing or even eliminating tasks of less importance.

3. Ask for help. Eric mentions that one of the key ingredients for developing margin as a leader is asking for help. Many times, new leaders will think that they will be looked down upon for asking for assistance, but Eric shares that leaders are more than happy to help those they lead through challenges if they simply ask for help. Asking for help also gives the manager the ability to know how they can serve those they lead.

Leaders must fight for margin.

The fast pace of a global society that never sleeps can quickly lead to burnout without prioritizing the space between your load and your limits.

Use these three ways to develop margin on a daily basis, and you will begin to see efficiency, effectiveness and productively in your overall leadership.

Now it’s your turn:

How can you ask for help in areas of your leadership?


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