The Cost Of Not Operating In Your ZONE
How your personal ZONE impacts your business
I begin with a brief explanation of what your Zone is. I call it the entrepreneur’s ZOE (Zone Of Excellence). It’s the place where you are spending 80%+ of your workday engaged in activities that meet 4 criteria:
- They must be done
- Only you can do them
- You are proficient at them
- You enjoy them
Now, let’s look at the cost of NOT living this 80% rule.
When you are not operating in your ZOE, you cost more to your organization. The cost is both qualitative and quantitative.
First, let’s review a basic fundamental fact of life. Every morning you awake, you have been gifted a package of time and energy. Once that package has been exhausted, it is gone. You cannot add another hour to your day. You cannot operate in the long-term with manufactured energy. Eventually, it will catch up to you.
This means that for every “yes”, there is always a corresponding “no”. You understand the concept of trade-offs. That is what happens when we operate throughout the day. Opportunities arise, putting you in a position to make choices. Those choices have direct bottom line (and quality of life) implications.
If you are doing something that only can do (criteria 2), you are good at (criteria 3), and you enjoy doing (criteria 4) but it is not something that must be done for the organization, you are only meeting 3 of the 4 ZOE criteria. The time you spend on that activity is time you cannot spend on something that is considered something that must be done (criteria 1).
Time is money. Time is finite. To the extent you are engaged in work that is meant for anyone other than you, the leader, you run the risk of increasing your cost to the organization. You become a drag on the bottom line.
Saying “yes” to another opportunity will not make 25 hours in a day.
Qualitative costs relate to the culture in your organization as well as your personal sense of well-being. When you are doing activities that are outside of your ZOE, you are not as fulfilled. When you are not as fulfilled, you are not the kind of leader your people need you to be. This is a frustration to them and it has a direct impact on your culture. Examples include when a leader micromanages or hijacks delegation (taking back the authority for a task assigned to a staff member).
Look, I know it’s not possible to operate all the time in your ZOE. There will be things that only you must do that you don’t enjoy. Although the concept of a Zone Of Excellence is not an exact science, the great leaders make it their daily ambition to be as close to the center of the Zone as possible.
How are you doing in your ZOE?