Want to be a millionaire? A Good Leader? Manage Your Time First

Want to be a good leader? How about a millionaire? Manage yourself and your time first.


What does it take to think like a millionaire? In reading The Millionaire Mind, I was struck by what seemed to first be a contradiction. Based on the study of almost 1000 millionaires, it was obvious these individuals as a group managed their expenses just as wisely, if not more, than their revenue generation. Most bought at discount retailers and had very small or non-existent mortgages by buying older homes that retained or appreciated in value.


Keeping costs low is a priority in the millionaire household, except with what the book described as “do it yourself” projects. Most millionaires captured in the study did not cut their own grass and if something broke in their house, they didn’t fix it, they called an expert.


At first glance, this doesn’t seem like a managing cost approach. However, upon further inspection, it is not a matter of keeping costs down, it is a matter how your time is best spent because time is money. If the cost equation involves devotion of ones time, especially for someone who has learned how to generate revenue (as most millionaires have) through their time, best to outsource those non-essential tasks to someone who can do them more effectively. Which actually saves money.


What does this have to do with leadership? Maybe leaders could learn a thing or two from the millionaire mindset. One thing I find that is a frequent area for tactical leadership coaching of what is really personal leadership (instead of actually leading others) and that is the issue of time management.  It is difficult to lead and guide the work of others if, as a leader, we have difficulty managing our own work and time.


We’ve devoted several blog posts over the years to this topic that you can view here:


Personal Leadership on Purpose


A New Take on Time Management


5 Ways to Find Your Productivity Sweet Spot


Saying ‘No” to Something is Saying ‘Yes” to Something Else


Schedules Communicate Priorities


But what can you take from all of these, and what do we work with clients on helping them manage their time better? What does the millionaire mindset teach us? It’s pretty simple:


  • Define Your Purpose see the mission statement and goal setting links in this post.
  • Vet how you spend your time by that purpose. A helpful way to do this is by looking at Covey’s approach- is it urgent/not urgent, important/not important. The goal is to be in the green on this grid- or in Quadrant II by spending your time on tasks that are important, but not yet urgent. It’s simply being proactive. Notice that many of these items in Quadrant II deal with developing others – values clarification, relationship building, empowerment.

urgent vs important

Image source: http://blog.gosignmeup.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Covey-Matrix-Time-Management-4-Quadrants1.png

Mary Ila Ward

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