What Executives Should Be Spending Their Time On
Not only is your time valuable, but it is also important to allocate your time to the right things.
Harvard researchers conducted an extensive research study of how CEOs are spending their time, both at home and at work. Here is a high-level view of the results:
When you travel, charter a flight and spend that time on your flight to focus on what matters most as a leader. Here are a few ideas for each area that you should focus on as an executive:
40% of Time on the Future
You may want to start with clarifying your vision for your company. What is your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) for the next year, two years, and five years? Is the vision clear and concise? How often do you need to cast that vision to your team? How can you determine if your team understands the vision and is communicating the vision to their team?
Spend time looking outside your company and industry for ideas. Are you keeping up-to-date on technology trends, global economy trends, consumer trends, social trends, and more? Are you tracking acquisitions in your industry, product launches, leadership changes, and more? How will the outside changes impact your internal company decisions? One unique characteristic of successful executives is the ability to connect the dots of external events to make quick and accurate decisions.
Spend time planning your companies future organizational structure. What leaders will you need to recruit, what skill sets do you need to hire to grow, and what changes need to be made to the organizational structure to support your vision?
Quick Tip: When you spend time planning on the future, make sure to have a significate block of time with minimal interruptions to focus on the task. On your next trip, charter a flight, allow your creating juices to flow, and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish on future planning.
30% of Time on Strategy and Execution
Spend time reviewing your current strategy and what your team is working on right now. Are you on track to meet deadlines? Are your product launches ready to go? What are the potential roadblocks to meeting your quarterly and annual goals? How can you help your team with the execution of your strategy?
Are there ways that you can streamline your day-to-day schedule to be more efficient? You may want to spend some time evaluating your schedule to determine if you can be more efficient.
15% of Time on Keys to Company Success
The use of data and the review of key-performance-indicators (KPIs) to track success. Do you have all of the data you need to make the most informed decision? If not, how can you get the data you need?
Look past the numbers and pay attention to your company culture. Is the culture what you desire? What needs to change? Take some time to reflect on conversations from your team to decipher the true culture of your company. Write down some questions to ask your team.
Focus on your team. Are there any concerns that you have about specific team members? How can you address the issues? Have you acknowledged the successes of your team? Take a few minutes on your flight to write a note of appreciation to a team member.
15% Working on Yourself as a Leader
Spend time on your private charter on yourself. Read a leadership book and think. Relax. Enjoy. Recharge.
Spend time with other leaders. Take a long weekend and go on an executive retreat. Talk to other leaders that you respect, are honest with you, and share with you what has worked for them.
Enjoy your next private charter and spend your time on the things that matter most to your success.