How do we make time to learn leadership when we are too busy? I wrote a blog a while back about being over hearing people talk about being ‘too busy’ - and how I was guilty of it myself for a long time - here is one of my blogs on the topic of 'being busy!".. The fact of the matter is that you need to make time for your goals and that nobody is really as busy as they claim they are. We all have time we can utilise if we are serious about making changes.

Leadership development is the same; you can’t be a great leader if you don’t continually develop your leadership skills. No leader is perfect; there is no level you reach as a leader where complacency about your growth becomes acceptable. The great leaders among us are those that recognise that there is always room for improvement within themselves, and that is worth making time for.

When you think you’re too busy to work on your leadership, here’s how you can make the time and further develop yourself as a leader:

Build your confidence

You need to be confident to develop your leadership skills; it’s the same as with any skill. Practice speaking to yourself with kindness, including finding a mantra you can say to yourself every morning - and whenever you need a boost of confidence. When you say something to yourself enough times, you’ll begin to believe it. Do it while you’re brushing your teeth, or before you step out the door - there’s always time for a quick pep talk with yourself!

An example of a mantra I love for confidence-building is: “I am enough. I am worthy. I have achieved great things, and I will continue to do so.”

Look for lessons you can relate to leadership in what you read or watch

No matter how busy we tell ourselves we are, we always seem to find time for the things we like doing. This includes watching our favourite shows or scrolling through our favourite blogs - and there's a way to make this work for your leadership development!

Many movies, tv shows, blogs and books contain content that, if you approach with a leadership mindset, can be used to teach yourself leadership lessons. By actively looking out for messages in the content you watch or read, you're making time for your leadership development in a simple way.

Set aside 20 minutes each day for your development

Everybody can find 20 minutes in their day, no matter how 'busy' they are. Like looking for lessons in the content you read or watch, this should also become a habit. Making your 20 minute development period a non-negotiable will have a large impact on your growth as a leader.

Whether you commit to waking up 20 minutes earlier in the morning, using 20 minutes of your commute, or carving out the time in any other part of your day, there are many activities you can do to help yourself grow. Listen to leadership-related podcasts or audiobooks, watch TED Talks, browse the resources on LinkedIn - there are many things you can do in as little as 20 minutes each day.

Reflect on learning opportunities from your daily interactions

Leaders who meditate on their communication daily will quickly develop a deeper understanding of effective leadership interaction.

Whether you make notes throughout the day or undertake an overall reflection at the end of each day, you'll learn what strategies do and don't work and find opportunities for improvement in your next interactions.

How do you make time for your leadership development?

If you aren't already putting enough time into your growth, don't stress! As long as you make the commitment today and start creating these new habits, that's what is most important.

Don't overload yourself - pick one of these tips and start doing it today, tomorrow, and the next day. Then slowly add more in so that you're overwhelmed.

I love to listen to podcasts and sit down with great books as simple ways to develop my leadership without hiding behind 'busy'. Instead of scrolling through my phone before bed, I pick up a leadership-related book. It's as easy as that to make time for your leadership!

About McDonald Inc.

Our Leadership Legacy

At McDonald Inc., we know that courageous leaders inspire courageous action. For more than 20 years our founder Sonia McDonald has been nurturing executives, businesses and leadership teams through leadership coaching and leadership programs.

We don’t just train your employees we transform them into courageous leaders. Whether you are looking to continue to develop your high performing leaders and teams or need help turning around a poor leadership culture, McDonald Inc. offers in-house programs and coaching.


To foster courageous leadership in organisations across the globe by training, mentoring and coaching emerging leaders, team leaders, managers and executives.


At McDonald Inc. we seek to foster courageous and kind leadership so that the people leave work smiling each day, in turn creating more prosperous and successful businesses.

Brand Values

McDonald Inc. develops the skills, confidence, and leadership of leaders at any point in their journey as well as facilitating cultural transformation. We benefit our clients by assisting them to have higher staff retention, improved performance through teamwork and an overall more profitable bottom line.

Contact us

Website –

Email –

Phone – 1300 719 665

About the Author Sonia McDonald CEO of McDonald Inc and LHQ

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humour will enhance any event she appears.

1. Leadership Attitude

2. Just Rock It

3. Leadership for Small Business

4. Leading the Next Generations

5. Courageous Leadership

6. Future Leaders of Leadership

7. New Kindness of Leadership

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