I’ve come to appreciate friends as the seasoning in my life…a pinch of each giving it flavor. This past week I sat outside Peet’s Coffee in Newport Beach with one such friend – Michael Regan. Michael is an executive coach and aside from loving my time with him…I always walk away with new insights into my life. That’s a side-benefit of hanging out with executive coaches. They can’t help but make you better.
Michael asked me a series of questions starting with, “What are you most fearful of in your job?” I shared my fear and Michael asked a few follow-up questions amounting to this, “Then what’s the best way to spend your time in order to prevent your greatest fear from becoming your reality?”
Said differently, “What’s your bullseye?”
Hmm…that’s a really good question.
I spelled out for Michael some ways to spend my time. Overseeing a regional account management organization, I saw three options:
- Spend my time building relationships with clients
- Spend my time pouring into my leadership team
- Divide my time between my clients and leadership team
While #1 has the most pull, and #3 is perhaps the most practical…it was #2 that surfaced as the winner. Why? It boils down to two words: leverage and longevity.
There’s only one of me. And like it or not, there’s not that much of me. Besides, the me that’s available is only good at some things. And if I aim my time at 65 accounts with hundreds of relationships, any impact quickly gets diluted. However, focusing my time on the bullseye of my leadership team…that investment gets quickly multiplied through them and the people they lead.
Any of us that lead need to create organizations that outlive us. Teams that don’t need us in order to succeed. What’s the best way to do that? Invest in our leaders to make them as strong and capable as possible. Ideally developing two people who could do our jobs better than us. Again, the bullseye happens to be my leadership team.
If you’ve ever shot at a target (archery, gun range, Nerf wars with your kids), you’ve likely learned that if you aim at two targets…you’ll hit neither. As a leader, if your targets are leverage and longevity…the beauty is the bullseye is one and the same. Investing in other leaders is the best way to aim your time.
Aiming our time at anything other than those we lead…might hit the target…but certainly not the bullseye.
Question: What’s your greatest story of leverage or longevity achieved by aiming your time at other leaders? You can leave a comment by clicking here.