An effective leader must efficiently prioritize the myriad tasks, decisions and activities that occur in the daily life of an organization, and manage time effectively. Prioritization is both an art and a science; being able to determine what is urgent versus important. How artful you are and how much science you employ is usually an unconscious choice. Your personality impacts your management of time and your prioritization of issues. Your physical makeup and condition play roles as well. Your thoughts, feelings and behaviors work together, and are affected by how you feel physically. Someone who is impulsive is less likely to be effective in a crisis situation than someone who is methodical. Someone who is anxious around authority figures or feels stressed by having to discipline a coworker is less likely to approach either situation with a clear focus. That’s not to say that humility and compassion aren’t called for. It’s about the stressors and our responses to them.
Time management and prioritization are not the same thing, although many people get them confused. For example, as Steven Covey observed, a key to effective management of time is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.