Fact one: as a business leader, one of the most important strategic resources your business possesses is your mind and imagination. So, how you invest your thinking time has a profound influence on the success and prosperity of your business.
Fact two: An hour focused on one issue or challenge or opportunity in your business may only return a fraction of the payoff as the same amount of brain-power applied to a different challenge or opportunity.
The problem is that precisely because you are a leader, you face a daily flurry of employee, market, product, service, facilities issues. Who knows what the day may bring fourth – an employee with a meltdown or a server melts down that brings the business to a stop?
Yes, these issues need to be addressed. And probably by you. But they bring a hidden opportunity cost with them. Every minute you spend on them is a minute you don’t spend thinking or acting on strategic leverage points that could multiply the wealth of your business.
In the same time it takes to handle an employee issue or go over that paragraph of ad copy for the 5th time, you could have developed a rough idea for new products or services, reflected on your customers and uncovered unmet needs, discovered ways to reduce customer attrition or a dozen other high leverage, high payoff activities.
In order to spend your time-dollars wisely in your business, you first have to know what two or three of the highest leverage opportunities are in your business.
If you can’t list them off by memory – then that’s the first place to spend your thinking time. If you can, then you need to display them on your desk, on your car mirror, on a post-it on your computer screen and on head of everyone who interrupts you throughout the day.
An extreme example: There’s a Chinese movie called “The prince and the assassin”. It’s in Chinese with sub-titles, so I’ll just give you the point. The movie is about the first Emperor to unify all of China. In the movie he is given the mission to unify China by his father. The mission is written on a scroll. The scroll is carried by a servant who accompanies him at all times. When ever the Emperor is getting off track on his mission, the servant shouts out loud the mission.
While an extreme example of keeping “the main thing the main thing” I can see productivity of companies nationwide catapulting forward if CEO’s had their very own “mission servant” who would interrupt board meetings by shouting the mission when pet projects got things off track.
Here’s the bottom-line…
Time is precious.
Your time investments can return millions, or they cost your company it’s future.
How are you investing your time-dollars?