The clock is now running the business.
Eyes are on time rather than on needs. Conversations hurry to conclusions. Thoughtful responses are growing more unlikely. Exploration? Within narrow limits. Alignment? There’s no time to be sure.
“I don’t have time” masks the realization that something other than what’s on the agenda may be more important. “I didn’t have time” is the reason something or someone slipped through the cracks. “There’s no time” moves past uncomfortable or inconvenient issues. “Let’s discuss when there’s more time” devalues people and concerns by putting them on the back burner.
Time constraints are today’s reality but the CEO in particular needs to slow down. The costs and risks of over-scheduling are too high for the business and the one in charge. (If your lieutenants can’t drive progress on important issues without you, that’s a different problem and separate topic.)
Try closing your office door for four or five hours once, maybe twice a month to think about–rather than react to–the business. Unravel complexity and get to the real heart of matters. Plot what’s around the corner and scenario-plan impacts on long term strategy. Retrace steps. Refresh options. Gift yourself with a friend/advisor, an industry expert who brings a strong external perspective and knows a thing or two about your world and what’s ahead–someone with no biases or personal agenda who sees what others miss, poses the right questions, challenges assumptions or confirms decisions.
Emerge as an even stronger leader by changing your relationship with Time.