SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: Where do you spend the largest percentage of your time at work?

  • Developing and coaching my people: 19.02%
  • Managing day-to-day operations: 46.77%
  • Setting the long-term direction and defining strategy: 10.3%
  • Meetings and steering committee sessions: 11.17%
  • Dealing with crises and major issues: 12.74%

Get out of the weeds and lead. About 70% of you are focused on the weeds — day-to-day operations, meetings and crises dominate where you spend your time. Remember — you manage things and you lead people. There is a huge difference between leadership and management. Making the shift to a leadership focus requires you to spend most of your time developing and coaching your people or setting direction and strategy. Leadership is about setting direction and inspiring others to get to the destination. Start spending more of your time on leadership activities and get out of the day-to-day details.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”

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