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How do you allocate your time and energy across your team members?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

How do you allocate your time and energy across your team members?

  • I give everyone equal amounts of time and energy. 30.6%
  • I spend my time and energy on the biggest crisis at hand. 30.2%
  • I spend most of my time and energy with my high performers. 28.1%
  • I spend most of my time and energy on poor performers. 11.1%

Increase your leadership ROI. Time is one of the most valuable resources we have, but we don’t think about investing it with the same rigor we think about investing money. Simply spreading your time evenly across all team members or being reactive to crises won’t get you a great return on your time investment. Instead, consider how you invest your “leadership capital” differentially and deliberately. For team members who need less time because they’re high performers, give them less time. Reinvest that time in your lower performers before their poor performance becomes a crisis. A more deliberate approach to investing your time requires focus, but the rewards of doing so can be tremendous.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He’s the author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box” and “The Elegant Pitch.”