10 Ways Leaders with Bad Time Management Hurt Companies

How Disorganized Leaders Bring Chaos to their Teams

I recently heard in the workplace, “He/she is a great leader, but horrible at time management.”

This sounds like a a contradiction in terms.

Good leaders increase a team’s output. They accelerate things, remove obstacles, and lift individuals to their potential.

Being “bad at time management” isn’t something that goes well with those objectives.

Good Leaders Value Time Over Everything

When a leader is “bad at time management” there is usually an undercurrent of non-productivity.

Things don’t get done. Deadlines are missed. Opportunities are lost. Bottlenecks occur.

Teams and organizations don’t live up to their potential when their leader is lacking in time management skills.

Good leaders value their time over all other things. They know that it is the one thing they cannot get more of in their day.

When a leader isn’t productive, their actions impact all areas of their organization.

Here are 10 Ways Leaders with Bad Time Management Hurt Companies:

  1. Forgotten Tasks – Tasks get lost in the clutter. They are forgotten until it is too late or they never get done at all.
  2. Lateness – Leaders with bad time management keep people waiting. Meetings start late. Schedules become chaotic. Their tardiness steals time from everyone else in their organization.
  3. Missed Deadlines – Poor organization leads to missed deadlines resulting in projects that are delayed, over time and over budget. Too many organizations accept this as normal.
  4. Lost Opportunities – Many companies miss opportunities because their leadership is too busy to take advantage of them. Or they are simply so overwhelmed that they don’t even recognize the opportunity until it is has passed.
  5. Hoarded Information – Disorganized leaders hoard information. Often, not intentionally. (That is another matter…) Yet, important information gets lost in the clutter and email backlog, and it often kept from the team members that need it to get their work done.
  6. Not Productive – This one seems obvious, but leaders with poor time management are just not as productive as their peers. They usually end up shuffling work versus doing it. Unfortunately, many companies recognize this “busyness” as progress.
  7. Waste Time on Low Priorities – Too much time is spent of low priority tasks and projects. This is a result of lack of a vision of all the work that needs to be accomplished. Instead, of working on the most important tasks, time is wasted on urgent but unimportant matters.
  8. Bottlenecks – Bad time management stops the flow of work, instead of accelerating it. These leaders waste time in indecision or they fail to timely assign required work. This results in unnecessary urgencies and stress for their team.
  9. Teaching Bad Habits – Bad habits are taught by example. When these leaders normalize being late or missing deadlines, their teams start to emulate those behaviors.
  10. Create Chaos – Bad time management creates its own chaos. Preventable crises. Unneeded stress. Unhappy workers. All of these are the results of leaders lacking productivity skills.

Bad Productivity Leads to Bad Leadership

Good leaders with bad time management are simply covering up problems. Their busy schedule hides an undercurrent of chaos and disorganization.

The good news is that time management is a learnable skill. With discipline and better habits, most leaders can improve their productivity. And their teams will be much happier and productive for it.

Question: What examples/impacts of leaders with bad time management have you observed in the workplace? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Bev Mynott

    The worst problem I have is that our boss delegates work, then forgets that he has delegated it and who he has delegated it to. Suddenly you find that more than one of the team is working on the same thing, so duplicating effort. Sadly, he (and the rest of the team) absolutely refuse to have weekly meetings to discuss what we are working on, which I feel would resolve this mess! I am the only organised person in a team of disorganised people, and it drives me mad.

  • As a leader recovering from bad time management, I could tell you many things that have benefitted since arriving early, but I’ll highlight the three most important:

    1) I have a better understanding of what’s going on with the organization
    2) I have a better relationship with my team
    3) I have more respect for myself thus more respect from my employees