This question is a huge management dilemma for many managers and leaders today. For some time that question perplexed me, because as an entry-level employee I understood it only in a literal sense. As the years have passed and my role has changed to where I am running a company, this question has become more insightful for me. The answer at any time always allows me to focus on what I should do, not what I can do.
The $10/hour and $100/hour amounts are metaphors for the type of jobs you as a leader should be doing. This question should challenge you to look at the tasks and responsibilities you execute each day. In many cases, someone else could handle some of your daily tasks so that your time as a manager or leader is spent on more impactful endeavors.
This should not be construed as condescending to entry-level employees. On the contrary; when leaders delegate the responsibilities to the correct team member, then the business runs more efficiently.
The problem I have run into is that many managers are doing certain jobs just because they have always done them or, worse yet, because their egos do not allow them to have faith in the team they are delegating to. Don’t let the fact that it is comforting or familiar to do this work be a distraction and prevent your company’s leadership from pushing outside of their comfort zones; they must take on the right workload for the business’s success.
When I am told, “I can do this and my other tasks, so it is not a big deal,” I beg to differ. Think of what a manager or leader could accomplish with this extra time if they focused on $100/hour tasks?
Two ways to solve this management dilemma and decide if your task is a $10/hour job:
- Could someone else do this job just as effectively as you? If you said, “Yes,” then it is a $10/hour job.
- If you had to choose between two jobs, which one would have the most impact on your bottom line? The job you did not choose is the $10/hour job.
Goal: Free up your time to focus on $100/hour tasks
Recently I attended the Unfair Advantage Automotive Mastermind Group conference where this topic came up. A few attendees were telling stories of how they as managers were taking pictures of the cars and uploading them to their websites, which could be considered an entry-level responsibility. We all agreed that there could be times where a manager has to handle these tasks based on the size of the company. But, what we asked these managers was if there was a plan in place to grow the business to a level where they could then offload these tasks. The goal should be to free up your time to focus on the business, not just working in the business.
In my own company it has taken me three years to be in a position where I have now trained a team of people to take care of certain responsibilities. I have now freed up some of my time to present our services to potential clients, working on new relationships that will grow the footprint of my business. I also am able to now write articles and speak at conferences. All of these responsibilities will have a bigger impact on my company’s future success because I’m making $100/hour job choices versus being tied down to a $10/hour workload.
If you are to grow your business to the level you desire, it is time to hire for the $10/hour jobs and let them go. Time for you to focus on bigger and better strategies.
If I can ever be of service or you wish to discuss anything in this article please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @glennpasch.