#5 How to Create More of the Rarest Resource – A CEO’s Time

By Terry Thompson and Jason Kipps:

In blog #4 (Managing Corporate Culture – The One Absolute Truth), we advised that a CEO should examine how he/she is spending his/her time and ensure that the proper amount is devoted to key culture priorities.  You may rightfully wonder, how much is the proper amount?  The answer is that there is not just one correct answer.  Time devotion will be, in part, a reflection of the maturity of the company and the personnel infrastructure in place.  However, it is safe to say that if you are intending to grow your company, well over 50% of your time should be devoted to culture priorities.

If you are an organizational leader or CEO, chances are, you aren’t spending 50% of your time on culture priorities.  Why?   Without a doubt, the number one reason CEOs don’t spend enough time on this issue is because they are too involved in “working in the business” rather than “working on the business”.  This means that the CEO is spending too much time in the “doing” of operational activities (i.g. sales, operations, admin) rather than having the right people in the right positions to handle many of these activities.

There are three main reasons why CEOs fall into the “doing” rather than the delegating role:

  1. A young or new CEO may not even be aware that he/she should be spending more time on culture priorities
  2. CEOs often are more comfortable with performing “doing” activities rather than “CEO culture priorities” and thus do not delegate these “doing” activities to subordinate employees
  3. Some CEOs may not have the right people with the right skills to whom the activities can be delegated to

Accordingly, the key to creating more time is for the CEO to take the time to review his/her job description and determine which activities should be delegated to another person.  Sometimes it is easy because those other people exist within the company and they are capable of handling the additional responsibility.  Where this is the case, the CEO should begin delegating as soon as possible.  This not only frees time for the CEO but also provides job enrichment, a key component of job satisfaction, for the chosen employee.

When delegating new responsibilities , do not assume that the person is totally self-sufficient from the start. Take the time to work with them and ease the transition as they assume their new duties.

The steps to take when you do not have the person(s) to delegate to are more involved and will be covered in future blogs devoted to “recruitment and talent acquisition”.  In the short run:

  1. Consider “outsourcing” certain responsibilities where they do not involve the need for a full-time person
  2. Be ruthless with how you spend your time – i.e. eliminate as many “nice to do” activities and focus on the “must do” activities until you can hire or develop the right people

The next blog will discuss how to articulate a compelling corporate vision and values.

Should you have any questions or feedback regarding the content of this article please email us at Terry Thompson at tthompson15@verizon.net  or  Jason Kipps JasonKipps@gmail.com  ©

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