A CEO I'm coaching was mulling over the strengths and weaknesses of various members of his team. Some of them want to call him to discuss every little problem, frequently without warning, and with no clear agenda, leaving him with little time to do his own work. The ones he treasures, however, remember his mantra:
"I'm paying you for solutions. I'm not paying you for problems."
The rule beakers take too much of his time, leaving him with no space to clear his own head and think strategically.
"You need time to think, and especially time to think strategically.
Don't let your people steal that time away from you."
I was reminded of a former client of mine who called me to complain about his bill. Since I was in private practice at the time, like most attorneys, we kept track of our time in tenths of an hour and produced detailed bills. Complaints about bills are not the calls any lawyer wants to receive.
"Lynne, " he said, "I love the detail on your bill and all of your little codes but you leave out the most important one: thinking. I pay you to think! When are you doing that?"