Let me tell you the tale of two leaders.
One had years of experience. She should have been the go-to person for anyone who needed help or was looking for answers. But she wasn’t.
The other leader had less experience but still had the skills and knowledge needed for her role. She shouldn’t have been the go-to person, but she was.
Why was that so?
That’s what a client asked me one day. He was the executive manager of the business and senior to both leaders. He could not understand why his most experienced leader was being bypassed by the team.
I suggested he spent some time “on the floor” watching the interactions among his people. When he did, what he noticed was that people went straight to the second leader for help and got it.
He spoke to some of his team members to find out why. It turned out that they had often tried to get help from the first leader only to find her busy. They found the help they needed from the second leader. Over time, they fell into the habit of going straight to the second leader.
While both leaders were equally willing to help others, the first was prioritising her time over the needs of the team.
We all get it. We know that time has a way of disappearing while you struggle to get a job done. In my experience, it’s because people understand the value of time that they only interrupt if they need to.
What the second leader knew is that time is only important if it achieves something. By sharing her time, she achieved more than just solving someone’s problem. She invested in the relationship. She proved that the people who went to her mattered. She valued the team over time.
If you spend your time on someone, they will remember it.
I’ve told you this story today because I want you to understand what you’re doing with your time. It’s more important now that we are separated and working remotely.
Your hours are like currency. You can invest them and reap the rewards, or you can waste them just getting things done.
What value are you creating when you spend your time?
I’d love to hear from you. Please share your story in the comments below and let’s refresh the way we all look at time.