How valuable is your time? I’m not asking what your hourly pay or rate is, but rather, how important is your time to you in ensuring your organization’s success? An indication of how much you value your time is how you use it. As leaders, our intentional use of our time is indicative of what is most important to us as leaders. An organization’s strategic priorities are highlighted by which strategies and programs receive proper funding and management, and which do not. A leader’s priorities are highlighted by which issues, opportunities, projects, and people receive attention and which do not.
A leader’s priorities are highlighted by which issues, opportunities, projects, and people receive attention and which don’t.
I’m not an accountant or a financial expert by any means, but I do know how to assess what a person or an organization values by reviewing their financial statements. In reviewing my personal financial statements, my Horse Care expenditures far exceed my Entertainment expenditures. Why? I value spending time with my horses, riding them, and taking care of them far more than I value paying for movies or going to shows. My expenditures highlight my values.
One of the steps in my due diligence, when I’m considering joining a board of directors, is to review the organization’s financial statements to identify what it values. In reviewing one organization’s financial statements, I noticed it had a designated budget line item for bonuses to the leadership team, but no similar budget line item for employee bonuses or recognition. In addition, the organization had no itemized expenditures for strategic initiatives or for any strategic project. As Peter Drucker once said, “What gets measured, gets managed.” From my perspective, what you fund, gets done.
What you fund, gets done.
My one quick look at this organization’s financials caused me to wonder: Is this board and leadership team more concerned with rewarding themselves for the work they do than with properly funding their strategic priorities and recognizing the work their employees do? If so, it’s not going to be a good fit for me. However, if the financials are simply not delineating their strategic priorities clearly, that can be easily remedied. This organization may well be a good fit for me. What they fund, they focus on and value.
As a leader, how I spend my time with the projects I pursue, the issues I address, the people with whom I interact, the tasks I complete, and the expenses I authorize, all indicate what I value as a leader. Do I really believe in the five major initiatives included in our strategic plan, or have I already lost interest? If I still care about these initiatives, are they properly funded, or have I reduced their budgets? Have I provided the project implementation teams what they need of me, or have I not been available to them? Do I focus my time on what matters most, or do I drift and work on non-critical things? How I use my time as a leader communicates more to my team about what I value than do all the plans and promises in the world.
How I use my time as a leader communicates more to my team about what I value than do all the plans and promises in the world.
So how valuable is your time? Are you keeping yourself focused on what matters most to your team, your stakeholders, and your future, or are you allowing yourself to drift? Do you properly ‘fund’ your organization’s strategic priorities with your time, or have you left them depleted?
Copyright MMXIX - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching.