Situation: A CEO is involved in a number of outside Boards and organizations, both because this involvement helps the company, and for personal reasons. Recent changes in family demands are now prompting reconsideration of this level of involvement. How do you prioritize demands on your time?
Advice from the CEOs:
- List all of your priorities – both business and personal – and the amount of time that they require on a weekly or monthly basis. For non-family activities, rate each in terms of importance both to your organization, and to your heart.
- Decide how many outside Boards or organizations you are willing to participate in and how many hours of the week or month you are willing to allocate to this.
- Reduce your involvement in outside boards and organizations so that you get the time commitment down to what you are willing to allocate. Thereafter, to maintain control of your time. If you add a new commitment, drop an existing commitment.
- Where you have commitments that are important to the company, but lower priority in terms of your own passion, delegate representation to good people within your company. This both maintains company presence and enhances their professional growth.
- Where you want to terminate involvement let the organization know of your plans in advance, and negotiate a phase out schedule and timeline. They will appreciate your working with them.
- Consider putting someone between you and your calendar to communicate with those making new requests for your time. This person can say no more easily than you can.