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Transcript; Time: The Ultimate Resource; Episode Three

Hi, this is Erica. Thanks for joining me today for another season of Leadership on the Ground. In this season, we are covering the Timing of Leadership which is all about answering the question of when. Time is a precious resource, a nonrenewable resource. So learning how to use it, leverage it, and turbo-charge it in our life and in our career can be a gamechanger. Okay. Let’s get started.

You are listening to Leadership on the Ground Season 7: The Timing of Leadership. Throughout the previous six seasons of Leadership on the Ground, we’ve covered the essential basics of leadership in the 21st Century, leading in real-time, and the rhythm, tensions, realities, and the context of leadership. So for this new season, we cover the critical discussions around the timing of leadership which is all about answering the question of when. Learning how to use, leverage, and turbo-charge time will be a gamechanger for you and your organization. 

And now, here are your hosts, Erica Peitler and Todd Schnick.

Todd:  Alright. Welcome back to episode 3 Time: The Ultimate Resource. I am your host, Todd Schnick, joined by my friend and colleague, Erica Peitler. Good morning, Erica. So Time: The Ultimate Resource. People think that resources are plentiful, that they’re endless but I’ve heard you say there are only three resources. What do you mean by that?

Erica:  Yeah. At the end of the day in business, really, the three resources that we have are people, time, and money. You can maybe try to come up with some others but I bet you they’re going to fall under those categories of people, time, and money.

Todd:  Yeah, I think so.

Erica:  And you know, of those three, time is really the only nonrenewable one or the one that we really can’t create more of, right? We can get more people. We can get more money. We can’t get more time. Once it’s out of our hands, we don’t get it back. How we invest our time and specifically our people’s time which we call “blue dollars,” blue dollars versus green dollars, is important because it really is a measure of our productivity which ultimately gives us the return of performance in green dollars. So it’s a really critical thing to understand. 

Todd:  Well, you just mentioned productivity. So I’m thinking about productivity and performance. Those actually measure different things. Correct? 

Erica:  They do. And in Leadership Rigor, I talk a lot about hey, that’s the breakthrough we’re looking for. We’re looking for the increase in productivity and performance. Productivity is really a measure of our resource allocation. Time being one of them. How do we place our resources in the right bet, so to speak, to kind of get the return? 

Performance is a measure of our skill along with our resource utilization. For example, you may have a great team of people, you may have a lot of resources, and you may have a lot of time. But if you don’t know how to use them and you don’t know how to point them in the right direction, you may not get the results that you want. They may be idle. They may not be focused on the right things. They may not be really leveraging all that they can be leveraging. 

We’ll talk more about capacity and teamwork later but if you don’t know how to use the resources with skill, you actually don’t get the performance that you’re looking for. That’s true in a lot of organizations.

Todd:  Yeah. No doubt about that. Time and energy, how do those relate to one another?

Erica:  This concept I love. You talk about time and you talk about it and you say, “Gosh. I can’t get it back once it’s gone.” So okay, if I can’t get it back, how do I really maximize it while I have it, right? And what’s the relationship with time and energy because while it’s a nonrenewable resource and we only have the same 24 hours in a day, each hour in that 24-hour period is not the same. And in fact, it’s not the same for Todd versus Erica. There is different hours that are great for you, different hours that are great for me. We can really turbo-charge our time which has limitations if we add the dimension of energy to it. 

So for me, I try to find those two hours a day and for me they’re crazy hours. Could be like 5:00 in the morning till 7:00 in the morning, where my energy level is so focused and so super charged that I actually get a 3:1 return. So if I wake up and I’m working from 5:00 to 6:00, I know it’s only one hour but my productivity is actually almost the equivalent of three hours if it would have been 4:00 to 7:00 in the afternoon. We all have that, that diurnal cycle where there are a couple of points in the day, there are actually two points in the day. One where you have a peak, one where you have a smaller peak. 

If we can help people to find what that peak two-hour time period is in your day and you get a 3:1 return on that, just imagine that. That’s 6 hours of work in that 2-hour time period. If you know what that is for you, the time of your day looks completely different than if you miss it and you’re really struggling through the day to kind of find those 3-4 hours of productivity.

Todd:  Well, to me there’s two problems with this discussion of time and energy. One is I still worry that there’s too many people out there who don’t know their peak time. They haven’t given that enough thought, one. Two, speak to management who force their people, their team, their talent to work in a really regimented structure that may not be conducive to their peak times. How do you deal with that? How do you encourage that? How do you give people the flexibility or the freedom with which to operate when they’re at their peak capacity?

Erica:  You know, that’s a great question. And I hope some of these is changing. I know that I coach my CEOs and senior leaders pretty aggressively on this. Old school is butts in seats. You got to be in at 9:00 and out after 5:00 or 6:00 or whatever.

Todd:  Lunch hour is 12:00-1:00.

Erica:  Yeah. That structure of old school, that’s how we do it. That really is undervaluing that time and energy dynamics. So if you’re really a contemporary leader, if you’re really a sophisticated leader today, you’re like, “Wait a second, I want performance and productivity. I don’t care whether it’s late for you, early for you, wherever it is for you, I am going to be a smart leader. I’m going to set really clear objectives and give you really clear goals and then I’m going to give you the freedom to how you accomplish those to get out there and do it.” That’s totally up to you. I’m going to define the what. I’m going to give you free reign on the how. And the when you do it is related to the how. You just got to meet my macro timeline. You meet my macro timeline and your day-in, day-out rhythmic timeline, that one’s up to you. 

Todd:  Alright. Erica and I will return after this short break. We’ll be right back. 

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This season is made possible by Leadership Rigor. The leadership development framework founded and facilitated by Erica Peitler. Erica Peitler teaches breakthrough performance and productivity strategies for how to lead yourself, lead teams, and lead at the organizational level. Everything you think you know about leadership will be turned upside-down. Leadership Rigor can be experienced through reading the international bestselling book, engaging in one-on-one coaching or creating a customized team or organizational leadership journey. To achieve breakthrough performance and productivity, visit EricaPeitler.com, to learn more. That’s EricaPeitler.com

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Todd:  Alright. We’re back with Erica Peitler. Time: The Ultimate Resource. So we’ve talked about capacities. How does all this relate to capacity?

Erica:  Yeah. So we’re talking about energy. Energy is a capacity enhancer. Let me explain capacity for a minute. Let me take a step back. In Leadership Rigor, I talk about leading yourself, leading teams, and leading organizations, and the journey of leading yourself. If I were going to break that up into three pieces, it’s you have to have certain skills and capabilities. You have to be able to have the capacity to expand and do work and you have to have the composure to lead. So to me in the midpoint of that progressive mindset in the inflexion point is capacity, that is the biggest determinant on whether a leader is actually going to advance into more senior roles. 

So you figure out how to get more bandwidth, how to get more capacity, how to work with others. Chances are you could be set up to be an organizational leader. You don’t work on your time management skills, you don’t build your bandwidth and your capacity, you are probably going to ultimately be more of an individual and a subject matter expert because you’ll get crushed by the pressure and the speed of everything that’s happening around you. So you know that ultimate time resource is manifested in capacity and you have to be able to deal with it. 

Now, the capacity constraint will not only derail you but they’ll derail everybody else around you, right? So you really need to be mindful of that and you need to be able to let go of any kind of micromanagement tendencies that you tend to have. And what I tell my clients is, you got to build it early and you got to give people stretch assignments frequently because once you have people working at a certain pace, let’s say a certain rhythm, they will stay pretty close to that rhythm. You know, work expands to fill up your day, doesn’t it?

Todd:  Yes.

Erica:  I mean, you got nothing to do, you’re like, “I’ll take my time doing that, really slowly.”

Todd:  Right, right.

Erica:  You give people who are really busy work to do and what happens? It all gets done, right? Because they’re hardwired or pacing themselves a little bit more. So you have to really be clear about not being a workaholic but really working to expand your capacity and getting the limits to be expanded. Your capacity-building also sets your relationships with time over time, right? You either continue to have a positive relationship with time because you’re building your capacity or you start to feel really resentful because you can’t handle the workload and you just can’t get it done and it becomes a grind. Ad then when it becomes a grind, you get into bad mood. And when you get into bad mood, everyone else around you gets in a bad mood and we got a bad situation on our hands because we probably have bad morale. So capacity and time management really all link to what does it feel like in this environment. It’s a big deal.

Todd:  Lots to think about there. You talk a lot about entry points and knowing how to find them and leverage them. I suspect those can make a difference in building capacity. Yes?

Erica:  Yeah. We always need to be seeking, seeing, and then seizing those entry points. We got to be looking for them. Now, with capacity, you see an entry point, it’s an opportunity to teach. It’s an opportunity to develop someone. If you miss an entry point by saying, “Ah, I don’t have the time for that” or “I can’t get to that right now,” those missed entry points end up being missed opportunities to develop you bench and develop the people for the future and of course, you’re never going to have time, right? You have that mindset of like, “I’m too busy. I don’t have time.” You build capacity and you start seeing an entry point, it’s like, “You know Todd, I’m going to do this right now. Why don’t you do this with me? This will probably be a great opportunity for us to do it together. You could see how I do it and then maybe you can do it over time.” That’s a leader who’s interested in not only building their capacity but building the capacity of others and then using a situational entry point as a way to bring them in and kind of build their capacity.

Todd:  That’s interesting to think about. So let’s close the conversation on this ultimate resource. How do we finally get it under control? I mean, we all have the same 24 hours and we always say that. But how do we get this ultimate resource and leverage it to its full capacity?

Erica:  You know, when I think about trying to get it under control and they way you phrased that question, I imagine someone sitting on top of a bull and just about to take a ride on the wild bull and the question is, am I going to get a ride out of this or am I just going to get thrown right out of the gates? 

So learning how to have the mindset to be in flow with the time, be mindful of it. One of the things I tell people is, take a minute. Put on your iPhone a minute in an alarm and just be with a minute and just remind yourself, ground yourself that a minute is actually a lot longer than you think. You really want to challenge yourself? Set your timer to 5 minutes. Try to meditate. That’ll teach you what the value of time is. But learn to dance with it and not be overwhelmed with it. And if you can learn to be in flow with your own personal timing, you’ll be able to really do amazing things externally with time. It’s a mindset more than anything else and it’s a choice more than anything else.

Todd:  Yeah. Gosh. You went exactly where I was trying to go. One is this choice. I think we take on too much, right? We should say ‘no’ more often because we don’t have to do it all. That’s one way I think you can respect time. And 2, I agree with you, meditating is a great way to slow things down and get more at a more comfortable pace. 

Erica:  Yeah. I love what you said too. Say no. Have boundaries. You don’t have to do it all. Saying no is just as important as saying yes. People don’t have the courage to do that but if you did have the courage to do that, you’d really be able to preserve the ultimate resource that you have which is your time.

Todd:  That goes back to the context. Is something is out of context, then it is easy to say no and you can explain it that way.

Erica:  Exactly.

Todd:  Alright. Well, we must value this ultimate resource. All the time we have for today. Next week, we’re going to talk about the timing skillset. Before we go, Erica, should anyone have any questions on this, where do they go?

Erica:  Oh, sure. You could reach out to me at erica@ericapeitler.com, on Twitter, LinkedIn. And Leadership Rigor is on Amazon.com. 

Todd:  Alright. Todd and Erica signing off for now. We’ll see you next week. 

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