Secret #2 - Strategic Calendar


Working with leaders over the last 20 years I’ve observed what highly effective leaders do that sets them apart, and I’m sharing these observations throughout this series, titled The 10 Secrets of High Performing Leaders. I go deeper with these ‘secrets’ in my Elevate in 90 Days Leadership Program.

To recap, Secret 1 is Self Leadership, where a leader strategically drives their own development, builds their own network, sets and revisits goals, has an evolving purpose-driven plan that ignites both them and the team and doesn’t sit back waiting for the business to do this for them. 

Secret 2 is Strategic Calendar (lesson 2 of the Elevate program)

As mentioned in the previous article, leaders tend to be extremely busy dealing with relentless meetings, email, people issues, delivery timeliness, stakeholders and much more. With a lot going on day-to-day it can be challenging to find the time to be strategic, focus on development and lead effectively. 

One of the most powerful tools you can use is your calendar.  

By setting up your calendar in a strategic and systemised way you ensure you have the time and head-space to focus on the important things, not just the urgent or pressing issues. 

To be highly effective set up the following predictable recurring events in your calendar 12-months ahead and invite relevant people: 

  • Quarterly team meetings (lesson 8 in Elevate in 90 Days Leadership Program) to connect the team with the vision and how they fit into the broader business, align the team, plan out the year/quarter ahead and engage their hearts and minds.
  • Monthly team meetings (lesson 8) to connect with each other and the quarterly plan
  • Weekly meetings if relevant (lesson 8) to stay on track
  • 1:1 Meetings with direct reports (lesson 7)
  • 1:1 Meetings with your manager (lesson 7)
  • Quarterly 1:1 meetings with your 2-up manager
  • Meetings with stakeholders/clients
  • Weekly strategic thinking and planning time
  • Performance reviews
  • Mentoring or feedback sessions (lessons 4 & 9 of Elevate in 90 Days Leadership Program) 

Establishing a Strategic Calendar system provides the following benefits: 

  • Accountability and structure for you to address important management and leadership activity
  • Builds your brand as a highly planned and organised leader
  • Builds trust with people across the business
  • Provides accountability for your team and team members
  • Keeps people connected and engaged in the business
  • Aligns the team
  • Builds your relationship with your manager and your direct reports
  • Develops your team members’ capability
  • Provides you with a predictable structure in which to lead
  • Reduces your sense of overwhelm with how to best lead in the business 

In summary, by establishing a recurring strategic calendar you increase your ability to manage and lead effectively and build respect for you as a strong leader in the business. 

To learn more about how to establish a Strategic Calendar view the MAD Leaders Elevate in 90 Days Leadership Program. 

Download the 10 Secrets summary sheet here.

In the next article I’ll share the third secret about driving your own development. 

If you’d like one-to-one support explore Coaching. 

Author - Rachael Pickworth



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