Which efficiency mistake do you most commonly see leaders make?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from more than 220,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

Which efficiency mistake do you most commonly see leaders make?

  • Spreading their time evenly across people (peanut butter approach): 5.1%
  • Taking the path of least resistance and avoiding issues: 36.3%
  • Being reactive and dealing with issues as they arise: 54.8%
  • Most leaders I know are pretty efficient: 3.8%

Be more deliberate and less reactive. Many of you noted that you see leaders commonly take the path of least resistance by spending time with people who aren’t causing problems as well as being reactive and dealing with issues as they crop up rather than preventing them. Taking a more deliberate approach to how you invest your time and energy can help you avoid these mistakes. Time is your most valuable resource. Consider how you invest it just as rigorously as how you invest your limited budget dollars. Proactively planning your time can get you out of reactive mode and nip issues in the bud.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."