What Would Happen If You Spent Another 10% of Your Time on Growth?

As companies grow and become more successful, they often become more complex. That’s when CEOs and their teams are most likely to be pulled down by problems and slowed down by fear.

While problems in a business can indicate and highlight issues that need to be addressed, they can sometimes be pure distractions. Of course, it feels good to see a tangible outcome when we fix or improve something, but if we spend most our time here, there’s usually not much left to focus on growth.

And fear is a powerful tool for us to thrive when we are concerned about potential problems. But we can also spend too much time worrying about things that are never going to happen. When we are lost in fear, we’re not focused on the high-value things that actually make a difference.

Both these scenarios contribute to what I call the gravity of growth – the forces that can drag and slow a company down.

True Growth = More X’s

True growth can only be achieved when leaders drive more of the key metrics of the business.

When leaders lift their heads above problems and fears to look at opportunities – the future possibilities that help the business to get more revenue, more customers, more profit – and have the courage to push ahead, they make decisions and get into action.

To do that, they must allocate their time properly:

    • Enough to address day-to-day issues that improve the business and
    • Enough on new opportunities.

Knowing where most of their time is spent, now, is a good first step.

Spring Clean Your Calendar

One of the CEO’s I work with just did a calendar exercise, with help from his assistant. They looked at all the activities in their calendar, over the last quarter, and categorized them as either ‘improvement’, ‘analysis’, ‘agony’ or ‘growth’.

(Click here to learn more about those categories and The 4 Forces of Growth.)

This is a great, eye-opening exercise – no different than a spring cleaning on your garage or closet to discover how much time is – or isn’t – actually spent on growth.

This exercise gives you solid data and helps you to see where you can allocate more to what matters most.

Start with Just 10%

And I know freeing up time can be challenging. Unless a CEO has a president or COO to oversee everything on the operational side of the business – without the right team, delegation and accountability in place – they can’t truly be freed up to be strategic,

It’s too much of a leap to go from, say, 25% of time spent on growth to 60% or 70%.

But, as I advised the CEO in this story, you can turn this around. Start by taking just 10% of the time spent in other areas and reallocate it to growth, and you’ll see a huge improvement.

The Challenge

    • What percentage of your time would you say is focused on growth, now?
    • How can you free up 10% more to focus it?

Read more about taking time for growth in next week’s blog.

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