#091: If You Want to be Successful, Stop Being So Accessible [Podcast]

Are you fielding more requests for your time than you have hours in the day? If so, you’re not alone. The more successful you become as a leader, the more other people will demand of your time. And that’s where the trouble begins.

If you are going to maintain margin for your most important priorities, you have to make some tough decisions about your accessibility. The more successful you are, the less accessible you must become. I wish it were different, but this is just one of the harsh realities of leadership.

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If you are a leader with more requests than time, you are not alone. By being intentional, you can still make yourself available to the people who matter most.

  1. Acknowledge your resources are finite.
  2. Determine who needs access and who doesn’t.
  3. Take practical steps to limit your accessibility.
    • With email, use two addresses, one public and one private.
    • With Twitter, only follow people you want to give direct message access to.
    • With Facebook, use a private profile and a public fan page.
    • With your phone, use two numbers, a public one (Google Voice) and a private one.
  4. Make a list of common requests.
  5. Decide how you will respond to these requests.
  6. Delegate to people you trust.
  7. Accept the fact that you will be misunderstood.

If you struggle with the idea of limiting your access as a leader, that’s a good sign. It means you have a good heart. But it’s going to take more than that to succeed over the long haul. You will also need wisdom and courage to limit your accessibility in order to stay focused on your priorities and fulfill your calling.

Listener Questions

  1. Erich asked, “What are your thoughts regarding Bob Goff’s philosophy of being available to everyone?”
  2. Jeff asked, “How can you say no when people write with such desperate needs? I have a really difficult time saying no to those especially?”
  3. Jeanne asked, “If you say no to everyone except your inner circle, won’t you miss opportunities?
  4. Donnie asked, “How can I get out of a commitment I should not have made in the first place?”
  5. Shannon asked, “Could you share some of the email templates you use to say no with grace?”
  6. Dan asked, “How do I say no to a client who me to do more than I contracted for?”

Tip of the Week

Do you listen to music while you work? My friend, Stu McLaren, turned me onto a service called Focus@Will. It is a unique music service that links neuroscience and music together. It is designed to make you more productive by getting you in the zone and keeping you there.

You can try it for free. It has several different genres available, including acoustic, classical, and ambient. It’s worth taking a look. I liked it so much, I subscribed. I use it almost every day.

Special Announcements

  1. My business partner Ken Davis and I will be hosting the SCORRE Conference, May 5–8, 2014 at the beautiful Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Whether you are a professional speaker—or just want to be—this conference will teach you how to prepare with focus, deliver with confidence, and speak with power.

    Honestly, this conference has had a bigger impact on my career than any conference I have ever attended. It revolutionized my speaking and his influenced every aspect of my communication, including my blogging and podcasting.
    If you are serious about becoming a better speaking, you simply must attend. However, we have less than twenty tickets left. This will sell out, so if you are interested in attending, you need to reserve your spot now. You can find out more by clicking here.

  2. If you have a question, comment, thought or concern, please leave me a voicemail:

    This is a terrific way to cross-promote your blog or website, because, if I use your question on the show, I will link to it.

Episode Resources

In this episode I mentioned several resources, including:

Show Transcript

You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript of this episode here, courtesy of Ginger Schell, a professional transcriptionist, who handles all my transcription needs.

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Question: Are you struggling with success and accessibility? How are you managing it?

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