623. Expert Interview: Maximizing Your Time So You Can Do What You Do Best
Maddy Niebauer, founder and CEO of vChief, helps overwhelmed leaders get on top of their to-do list and spend time where they can have the most impact. The virtual chief of staff service supports leaders from all sectors and domains who are looking for high-level strategic support on a part-time basis. Maddy became an expert in the chief of staff role in her five years as a chief of staff at Teach for America, and has used this expertise to build a network of talented chiefs of staff who work with vChief clients. She has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, an MBA from Columbia Business School, and lives with her family in Madison, Wisconsin.
Maximizing Your Time So You Can Do What You Do Best
“We’re all pulled in a million directions. There are always things competing for our attention, whether it’s our inbox or calls from people, or social media. All of those things are important—you want to stay connected with people—but they can also be a real time suck. It is important for leaders to be able to block out time on their calendar where they’re not doing those things, where they can focus on setting strategy for their organization and spending some time thinking, not just doing, every moment of the day.”
Why Is This Important?
“A McKinsey Quarterly management time study a few years ago revealed only nine percent of CEOs were very satisfied with the way they were spending their time. If you think about it, as leaders of companies, that’s a scary metric. Given that time is our most valuable and limited resource, a lot of executives spend their time in ways they feel are not always the most efficient—aren’t the best use of their time. We work with CEOs to help ensure that they are spending their time wisely. We help take things off their plate so they can focus on their priorities.”
What Are the Key Lessons Learned Here?
“It’s important to think strategically, not only about what your company or organization’s goals are, but also what is the unique value you bring? What are the things only you can do that will spell out success? Set personal, strategic priorities—we recommend no more than five, because it’s hard to focus on more than that—and then, from those priorities, look at your time and say, ‘These are the five things I need to be doing. How much time do I actually spend on those things, and how much do I spend on other things that I don’t personally need to be doing? What could I delegate to an assistant or chief of staff, or someone else on my team, so that I can free up my time to work on my priorities?’ Then, look for resources to help you do that.”
Connecting With Maddy Niebauer
Your website URL: www.virtualchiefofstaff.com
Your Facebook: facebook.com/virtualchiefofstaff
Your Twitter: twitter.com/VirtualChief
Your LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/10438876/
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Careers: CEO, Chief of Staff, Leadership Coach
Topics: Leadership, Time Management