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What Are You Really Worth?

December 16, 2009
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I was talking with a very solid CIO last week—a real 'A' Player—about an opportunity we're working on. We'd spoken (many times) before so I already knew his credentials, but I wanted to schedule some time the following week to have an in-depth conversation about the role and location, and also to understand where he was as far as evaluating the opportunity.

In a typical 40 hour work week (which is rare for most of us) we work approximately 2,080 hours in a calendar year. Take a couple of weeks for vacation and for arguments sake throw in another two weeks in paid holidays or more PTO time (depending on tenure) and now we are down to 1,920 hours of real work output in a given year. Still a lot of hours – right? Maybe. Maybe not. It all depends on how you choose to spend your time each day, week and month. Actually it really boils down to how you value each minute of each day and how productive you are. That’s the real math we all have to think about when it comes time to determining what we are really worth. It’s not funny or fuzzy math either. It’s very real. Read on.

In our example above, the CIO earning on average $225K annually is worth $117.18 per hour $225,000/1,920) - or $29.30 every fifteen minutes. And if you are managing a $3.5M budget your executive leadership enterprise value is worth $1,823 per hour ($3,500,000/1,920) or $455.72 every fifteen minutes. That’s a completely different way of determining your value but an exercise we should all go through as we reflect on our career and look ahead to the New Year. With our industry about to explode increasing productivity for you and your team has never been more important. It really puts the “X-Factor” on how you spend your time if you are honest about your time management. It should also force you delegate or outsource low value tasks instead of trying to do everything yourself. Spend an extra 15 minutes reading the sports section each morning or spending an extra hour tweaking a PowerPoint presentation could prove to be costly.

So the next time you decide to spend an hour doing any low value task or spending your valuable time with anyone that is not engaged in helping you to move the needle in your organization – STOP! Think about your value and determine if the time you are about to invest is really worth it? You will be surprised at how you spend your time/value if you stop each time and think of what you are about to do and measure your value in real dollars and cents.

There are only so many hours in each day and once we use them they are gone forever.

Make ‘em count!



Thanks for the "wake-up call" link humor. It was a great Easter egg.

Joe: Truer words were never spoken! Delegation is key to get the most out of every minute, every hour and every day! Spend time booking a flight or changing a PowerPoint and you may cost your organization hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost productivity (and cost). We all need to ask ourselves each day if we are maximizing our time and find more productive ways to get things accomplished!

Great post. You said a mouthful there, including your closing point on the critical role of DELEGATION.

For those readers who have a video preference, I'd recommend watching this 5 minute video: http://www.manager-tools.com/2009/05/managerial-economics-101-video

To put this into very concrete terms, I travel once or twice a week on average throughout the year, always involving booking airlines, hotels, rental cars and filing expenses. It also involves consistent and time consuming communications to be most effective. My administrator takes care of all of those details, freeing up my time to prepare content, follow-up and broader corporate development (product, services, etc). I'm lucky in that my CFO and the other SVPs that I work with recognize that having administrative assistants AND USING THEM EFFECTIVELY is extremely good for the company.

Closing on your point "What Are You Really Worth?", I agree with you Tim. We all need to really think that through and act accordingly, including and perhaps especially attending to delegation!