How do you spend your day?

Most of us spend our day engaged in three different primary functions: doing, managing or leading.  It is how we allocate the time to each of these three roles Do – Manage – Lead that can determine our effectiveness.

Take a brief moment and think about a typical workweek, what percentage of your time do you spend in “Do” mode that is doing the actual work?

Take a brief moment and think about a typical workweek, what percentage of your time do you spend in “Manage” mode that is managing your people?

Take a brief moment and think about a typical workweek what percentage of your time do you spend in “Lead” mode, that is leading the organization (or your team)?

Now ask yourself what percentage of your time do you think you should be spending on each of the three areas.  Are your actual times in–synch with your ideal times?

The higher up the corporate ladder you are the more you should find your self in “Lead” mode.  The further own the ladder you are the more time you should be spending in “Do” mode.  “Manage” mode is most often determine by two components, how many people report to you and the quality of those people.

If you are an executive in the organization your direct reports should be of sufficiently high quality that managing them is not a major task.  Regular conversations regarding priorities and performance as well as a Daily Huddle, Weekly Meeting and Monthly Meeting should provide enough contact for them to be well managed.  Thus utilizing only 15% of your time to manage.

If you were to spend 2 hours per day working on the things that only you can do and dealing with the calls, e-mail, etc. that would account for 25% of your week to work in Do mode.

That would leave you about 60% of your time free to Lead.

There is a reason that many people feel that the best CEOs are really the head cheerleaders for their organizations.  Who better to lead the parade?  Spread the gospel.  Tell the stories.  Get out and talk to the staff.  Go out and meet the customers.

Active, involved leadership is not sitting, locked away in the corner office barking out orders or scouring spreadsheets.  It is about being out with people…employees, customers and prospects.   At your place of business, at their place of business or at trade shows.

Show up, surprise them, and make an impression, after all who better to represent the brand than the leader.

Imagine the impact of being able to say that the owner or CEO of a company came to visit me today.  Wow!

But what if you are not the CEO or an executive?  Well then the numbers shift, but there are not hard and fast rules.   Try these as a guideline but start by looking at your current use of time and then adjust from there.

Remember the key factors for how your time will be used are:

  • Your role in the organization
  • The number of direct reports that you have
  • The business maturity of those direct reports

           CEO/Executive                     Mid-Level                   Lower Level

Do                                         15%                                   40%                                70%

Manage                                 25%                                 40%                                  20%

Lead                                      60%                                  20%                                 10%

How will you spend your time more productively?

[themecolor]Dave Baney is the founder and CEO of 55 Questions, LLC. We work with successful top executives with a driving ambition to crush their competition. We help CEOs and Entrepreneurs improve alignment, communication and accountability throughout their organization.[/themecolor]

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