What’s your $1,000-an-hour Employee Doing for the Business?

Guest post by Fred Kroin, Catapult Groups Leader

CEOs and business owners are among the most time-challenged men and women I know. More often than not, they fall into the trap of spending time doing things they shouldn’t be doing. As a result, 50-, 60- and 70-hour work weeks become routine. That’s a red flag warning, trouble is ahead. As Brad Mishlove noted in a previous Catapult Groups blog, “When all you do is work, you become tired, fuzzy-headed, and burned-out. You don’t think strategically. You’re so tactically oriented that you can’t see the forest for the trees. This is no way to run a business.”

I believe a CEO’s job should take no more than 40-45 hours a week. Why? The honest truth is, there just aren’t that many CEO-type tasks to complete. The rest is day-to-day grunt work better done by others within the organization. The challenge for business leaders is to make sure they work on those tasks only they can do for the business and delegate, delay or sometimes even ignore the rest.

The problem, of course, is that many CEOs feel no one else can do a particular job as well as they can. They rationalize by thinking that it would take too long to train someone else or they regress into their comfort zone from back when they were just starting out and did everything themselves. (That’s also when they did what they liked doing and procrastinated on everything else.)

Picture the CEO as a $1,000-an-hour employee. Shouldn’t an employee that valuable only do jobs that you’d be willing to pay $1,000 an hour for? Well, if you are currently performing tasks better suited for a $100-an-hour (or even a $10-an-hour) employee, then shame on you! This is an enormous waste of time and, like Brad said, no way to run a business.

I suggest dividing up all the tasks you as the CEO or business owner might do into four categories:

  1. Those only you can and should do
  2. Those you could or should be delegating (and for which you already have someone on your team who can perform these tasks or who can be trained to perform them)
  3. Those no one else on your team is equipped to do and for which you should hire someone specifically or consider outsourcing
  4. Those that no one should be doing, tasks and activities that we allow to sidetrack us (phone calls, irrelevant emails, etc.)

Start today. Look at each task ahead of you and put it into one of these four categories. If you’ve hired talented, skilled team members, don’t be reluctant to give them important duties, so that your time is better spent refining the vision for your business and developing long-range strategies to help it grow.  That’s what a $1,000-an-hour employee should be doing.

If you’re ready to ready to join other CEOs, managers and senior-level executives in a confidential group setting—where you’ll be challenged and rewarded like never before in your professional life—we invite you to learn more about becoming a Catapult Group member today.

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