Investing or Spending Your Time – Leadership Lesson from Best CEO in America

Do you spend your time or do you invest your time? Have you ever stepped back to evaluate this and differentiate your time in this way?

Time is one of the most important currencies we have as humans and as organizational leaders. We all have the same about rationed to us, so what we do with it is what creates competitive advantage and differentiation. As a leader, how you maximize time becomes a key metric for your success and your team’s success.

This is a key question Nick Saban asked while coaching young football players at a football camp recently.

Nick Saban might be one of the best CEO’s in America. He’s the CEO of the University of Alabama football team. Alabama, a program with an already stellar pedigree, is one of the prominent football programs in college football. Any way you look at it – talent acquisition, customer loyalty and stickiness, financial profitability, dominance in their niche, etc. – this is one of the best run businesses going right now.

Here’s what Saban had to say to your footballers at a football camp related to how we spend our time:

“When you invest your time, you make a goal and a decision of something that you want to accomplish,” Saban said. “Whether it’s making good grades in school, being a good athlete, being a good person, going down and doing some community service and helping somebody who’s in need, whatever it is you choose to do, you’re investing your time in that.

“When you spend your time, you play Xbox. That’s spending time. It accomplishes nothing. And I know all of you would say, ‘Oh, man, I need to have my relaxation time.’ You know what I say to that? And excuse me to all the mamas out here, but that’s bull—-. You don’t need to do that.”

The big idea here is we each have a choice. Do we invest or spend our time? The subtle difference is Saban’s statement, “you make a goal and a decision to do something you want to accomplish.” There is a high sense of intentionality when you invest your time. You intentionally make a decision. It is active in nature.

The opposite is to be passive and spend your time.

Take an inventory of your time portfolio and assess how your “time investments” are going?

Discussion Question: What practices have you used to help you effectively “invest” your time?

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