Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring is Time to Get Organized by Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa

Many Servant Leaders have learned that organization is an important skill to master.  For many leaders, organization of time and environment are essential in order to promote efficiency.  Many leaders find it easier to be more productive and relaxed in an organized setting that can create a stress free environment.  Effective leaders have found that when thoughts are organized and minds are clear, production increases.

According to Robert K. Greenleaf, one of the ten characteristics of an effective Servant Leader is Conceptualization.  In my book, Are You a 10? The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader (2010) an entire chapter is devoted to the skill of Conceptualization. 

Conceptualization is the skill that allows one to nurture abilities to dream great dreams.  One of the activities to develop this skill is organization.  An effective Servant Leader has set both personal and professional goals and encourages goal setting in others.  In order for one to work effectively toward goals, organization is helpful and many times necessary.

The following are a few suggestions on how to organize the work environment.

Color Code Folders – assign a color for each of your tasks.  For example, you might use the color red for all information pertaining to taxes.  Receipts and other important tax documents could be placed in the red folder for future reference.

Calendars   use a wall calendar to help everyone in the family or in the office be up to date and notified of important activities and events.

Organizers and Planners– use an organizer or planner to track important dates and meetings.  Organizers can be found in a paper format or electronically.

Organize the Office- make sure there are no stacks of papers cluttering your office.  Un-cluttering your surroundings can help reduce frustration and increase efficiency.  When important information is received, it may be filed, acted upon but never put in a pile of other papers.

Computer and E-mail– very similar to color coding your paper files, make sure documents and emails are filed in electronic folders.  Always back up your hard drive to protect yourself from losing all your files.

Organizing Thoughts– organization is not all about paper and electronic files.  Organizing our thoughts is also important to workplace efficiency.  Never rely on immediate responses.  Allow time to process information and formulate an appropriate response.

Create the Atmosphere- the atmosphere in which we all work is important since we spend the majority of our day there.  If possible, choose a paint color for the office that promotes professionalism and relaxation.  Decorative items for a work environment should be things that make people smile such as photographs and inspirational posters.  Finally, play calming music that stimulates the thinking process.  Music such as soft piano or classical music are good options.
Greenleaf, R.K. (2006). The servant leader within: A transformative path. Paulist Press:
            New York.

Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa is a mother, educator, and wife living in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  She is a PhD student with Our Lady of the Lake University in Leadership Studies.  

Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the President of the Leadership Empowerment Group, LLC and is currently researching the relationship between the leadership of the high school principal and the high school drop out rate.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is the author of Are You A Ten?  The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader.   

For ordering information, please contact Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa at or visit 

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