By guest blogger Larry Linne.


Over the past 10 months I have interviewed and surveyed a few hundred First in Commands. The big question has been, “What percent of your time do you spend doing what you do best that brings the greatest value to your company?”

The answer has been an average of 21%!

You don’t have to be a very creative or intelligent consultant to come to the conclusion that utilizing the strengths of a First in Command 21% of the time, is not a great business strategy. If I were to tell the CEOs that I work with to make sure they spend 21% of their time doing what they do best, they would find another Advisor.

We are in the midst of one of the toughest and most opportunistic business economies in our lifetime. We are under attack from market shrinkage, credit limitations, bank reform, political pressure, employee entitlement, limited cash, social media entrance, wiki information economies, and the list goes on.

The skill and talent needed to attack these issues strategically and tactically fall in the unique abilities of First and Second in Commands. When these people do what they do best, they increase revenue, obtain cash, motivate people to increase productivity, manage key professional financial service relationships, plan, and get results.

Almost every First and Second in Command I know has a history of success. It is hard to get in those positions without having past success. They had success in sports, the arts, and/or academics. They have awards and accolades from school days and throughout their business careers. They know how to win and they get the greatest results.

Lets go back to the top of this article. Why is it that we allow these incredibly talented people to spend only 21% of their time doing what they do best?

What if they were able to spend 50%, 70%, 80% or more of their time doing what they do that brings the greatest results to the organization? I know the answer!!! They win big!!!

What keeps these First and Second in Commands from doing what they do best? NOISE! They are distracted by employee issues, problems, client issues, process breakdown, poor decisions, failed results, strategic concerns, and feeling alone.

These issues snowball in capturing the time of first and second in commands. They deal with one issue, get involved in things they don’t do best, create new problems, de-motivate teams, read additional reports, and get bogged down in the NOISE.

A strong First and Second in Command relationship will eliminate the noise if they have the right strategies in place. Moving away from traditional thinking and bad habits into noise reducing strategies is the only way out of this mess.

What is it worth to a company to eliminate the noise and get our First and Second in Commands doing what they do best 80% of the time? First in Commands who have answered this question say anywhere between a hundred thousand and multiple millions of dollars.

The biggest RISK I see in our business economy today is the lack of availability of our best talent. We need to get our First and Second in Commands back.

Larry Linne is President & CEO of Sitkins International. He is also the author of Make The Noise Go Away – The Power of An Effective Second In Command and the supporting training program The Noise Reduction System™.


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