I spent the day with a mentor in my life many years ago and something life changing occurred for me. While I realized this mentor of mine did not accomplish a lot of things from his goal list or his agenda for the day, he was having influence in the lives of people. I found myself watching this mentor talking and encouraging every individual he came into contact with. I then realized something I had always known: people are more important than tasks.
Leaders often forget this great truth. It's very easy to get caught up with the "To Do" lists and let that drive how our minutes are spent every day. However, leaders who live with a vision of impacting people do not let the pressures of the "To Do" lists override the time needed to influence people. In short, leaders must balance the agenda with the more important reality of building and mentoring relationships.
A second realization occurred just this year as I found myself stuck to my computer one morning before school while also trying to have a conversation with a student. While I'm a believer in multi-tasking to a certain degree, this was one of those moments I shouldn't. It wasn't long before I realized I didn't hear this student talking anymore. I then realized my lack of attentiveness led this student to believe I didn't care about her situation and she left. I was very disappointed with myself. However, I made an apology and explained I did care and was failing by showing this by letting the pressures of my day interfere with what was more important.
Time is never wasted when it's used to accomplish a vision of mentoring the lives of other people.