The Eisenhower Matrix

Most of you will be familiar with this construct, also known as the Urgent/Important matrix, used by Stephen Covey and a myriad other management gurus. This week I’ve had the privilege of facilitating parts of an HE management ‘Awayday’ and the matrix was useful in illustrating the importance for leaders of remaining as much as possible in the upper right hand quadrant – Q2 –  which is where they make for themselves ‘headspace’  to work on strategy, develop people, strengthen systems, solve problems, set clear outcomes and develop themselves.

I’ve often used it both as a tool to manage my own tasks and priorities and as a way to help teams make informed choices about how they work, but I’ve rarely seen it so well illustrated as it is here, on Dr. Kristian Rother’s Academis blog,

The icons really say it all!

Rother Eisenhower matrix

Why do I need a coach?

Top sportsmen and women employ top coaches to help them achieve performances which stretch excellence even further. Their coach is focussed totally upon them, challenging them to overcome every tiny deficiency in their performance so as to improve upon their current success.

In organisations dedicated to the continuing personal and professional performance of their staff, coaches are allocated to the high flyers and high achievers to stretch them in a similar way to that in which a sports coach stretches an athlete. An executive coach is a valuable facilitator of change. Your coach will encourage and support you, and help you to stretch what Dr. Angus Mc. Cloud refers to as your “frame of reference” so as to discover new perspectives and explore your perceptions from a different angle. Executive coaching is explicitly linked to the strategic business or institutional objectives and will challenge you to look at things differently and to think differently.