Take the helicopter ride to see the whole picture

Taking the time to look at your business from a distance – to take a helicopter ride – can help you ensure your time is well spent rather than just spent.



Recently I was fortunate enough to take a helicopter from central Melbourne to the Yarra Valley. How different Melbourne looks from the air. We were high enough to see the whole city but low enough to see a lot of detail of the glorious Botanical Gardens, the numerous sporting facilities and the bay.


It made me think about the advantage of being able to take some time to look at your business from above. I recently had the privilege of working with a group of CEOs all of whom took some time to take their own helicopter ride over their businesses.


Last week I wrote about not confusing activity with productivity, and last weekend I facilitated a strategic planning retreat at the charming and calming Peppers Springs Retreat & Spa at Hepburn Springs, which proved to be a great way for all participants – with the assistance of fellow CEOs – to have a look at the big picture of their businesses and re-assess their activities.


Of course this meant that they had to give up two days of their time – and we all realise what this means – giving up family time or leisure time. But on the other hand taking a couple of days out a year to re-assess the value of business activity and the activities you undertake as a CEO really should enable you to have more time in the long run for family, friends and leisure – and of course, a whole lot less stress.


Regarding activity and productivity, a helicopter-look at many businesses and the role of their chief executive shows there are many areas that a CEO can look at to ensure that time is well spent rather than just spent!


Here are a few thoughts:

  • Only do the tasks that “only you” can do – leave the rest to the team.
  • Train others to do what you think that only you can do.
  • Work on the worthwhile parts of the business – generally those associated with the bottomline. This means you need to know the margins and returns on all parts of the business – the more you know about the figur es in your business, the more focused you can be.
  • Make sure your business systems are the most efficient they can be.
  • Equally ensure that your own personal work systems are efficient. Handle papers once, deal with problems upfront – don’t procrastinate, complete tasks. Don’t come back to them as it takes time to pick up from where you left off.
  • Ask for assistance from experts – you may have to pay, but it will probably save you lots of time and money in the long run.
  • Take time out to think about where you want your business to go and how you want to exit – even if the exit is many years out.
  • Define your economic driver so that you and your business are on a synergistic track. Like a racing driver you can then cut corners according to want you want to achieve rather than being a slave to something you are not really excited about.
  • Make sure you enjoy what you do – most of the time – as this means you will get far more joy out of each day. But remember whatever you do, you won’t love every day.



To read more Marcia Griffin blogs, click here.



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