$10,000 Moments

Over the years I have found many entrepreneurs and leaders struggle to balance the demands of the urgent versus thoughtful forward-looking planning and strategy. Often referred to as working in the business compared to working on the business. In fact, the technology designed to increase personal productivity such as cell phones, email, texting, and other apps quickly infringe upon the leader’s ability to remain focused as a result of all of the distractions. In essence, pulling them into daily operational issues.

To help frame the issue I like to challenge leaders by asking them, “When was the last time you had a $10,000 moment?” This is most typically followed by a blank stare and the question; “What is a $10,000 moment?

A $10,000 moment is that decision the leader makes that adds this value to the bottom line of their business – it is their primary job. The role of the leader is to continuously increase the organization’s overall value. By increasing the number of $10,000 moments they effectively do just that. $10,000 moments can take many shapes and forms and not all of them are easily identifiable, but they happen. Some are easy such as making the decision to increase prices or renegotiating a supplier contract. However, others may be the result of coaching employees on a better way to communicate with customers, resulting in additional sales and increased customer retention.

Leaders should look at their daily activities, scheduled appointments, and goals to identify those that are not adding value to the organization or can be delegated to someone else. This will free up their time to focus on having $10,000 moments each and every day. Just because a leader can do a task or activity doesn’t mean that they should continue to do it.  Running the day-to-day operations is not a company leader’s job.

For example, it’s easy to read and respond to emails but it continuously pulled me back into daily operations, thus, after a few years I made the decision to have my assistant manage my emails and it was truly a $10,000 moment for me. Now I can be more attentive to leading my organization and not pulled into the continuous race to keep my email inbox empty.

Begin measuring each day those decisions that are $10,000 moments and I suspect you will begin to focus on the right tasks and will keep your company moving forward.

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First Featured on Forbes.com