Goal Setting for Growth

Are you spending too much time on routine and not enough on growth?


Ray Attiyah, author and founder of Definity Partners, takes a leadership approach to managing time. Here, Ray discusses why great leaders should focus a significant portion of their time on new opportunities and growth—both reactive and proactive—and less time on routine management tasks. He also advises that we use a measurement tool/app to calculate how we spend our time each week.

So the one area that we cannot buy any more of is time. We cannot buy anymore. We all have 24 hours. So how we use that time is very critical and now more than ever companies have unlimited growth opportunities. There are so many opportunities to grow but they're new. They're different. They're not more the same. So as a leader spending your time on the new versus the routine will allow you to grow, will allow you and your teams to grow.

So what I look at when I look at Run Improve Grow, there's an element of the run of the business. The run is the core business. That is the products we offer today. It's the services we offer today. It's the locations. So the run is the execution of today's business model.

The grow is the new: new products, new markets, new services. So the more time leaders can spend their mental time and physical time on the grow, they're true doing their job as leading. Their job is to take us into the unknown into the future.

If they're in the run, who's then leading? As a leader, typically, then we're following the competitor. So individually when you look at Run Improve Grow, so you've got to run, you've got the grow, and then the middle is the improve. The improve is two elements. There's reactive improvements which our frontline leadership led on daily basis with the huddles and then you get the proactive improvements which are positioning us for the future. We're creating systems and organizational capabilities that support the future.

And as a leader individually should be looking at and saying how much of my time am I spending on grow. We had a client actually just go through the process of calculating his time. He's spending 60% of his time on grow which is phenomenal for 200-person company but he's not satisfied with that. He wants to get to the 80%.

So when you do it on an individual basis, you ask yourself why am I in the run? Am I in the run because I have people that I don't have confidence in? Am I in the run because that's where I get my sense of enjoyment? Am I in the run because we don't have systems that make them confident? Why am I in the run and why are my managers in the run? Am I asking questions that get them into the run?

And ultimately, what we need to do is get people comfortable for them to go into something that is not comfortable for them. Eventually, if you become so comfortable you could you in your sleep, you shouldn't be doing it. Others should be doing. You should be working on what's next.

So you should always be asking the question to yourself, "Why am I in the run?" And when I do that, when I become in the run, am I taking ownership of the run from my people? And if they don't own the run and I own it, then all their problems are my problems as opposed to them owning it and then they work on the problems.

Ray Attiyah

Ray Attiyah is an entrepreneur, innovator, master teacher, and optimist. He is the Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Definity Partners (a training, process and leadership improvement firm who works primarily with mid-sized manuf...

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