Are You a “Got a Minute” Boss?

09 July 2014 by Shweta Jhajharia

How do you interact with your team members? Do you find yourself constantly being interrupted with a small task here, a small problem there?

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Your time is a valuable resource, so you need to start thinking about how you use it – especially with your team.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

Hi, this is Shweta. What I want to talk about today is “Got A Minute” culture. In our business, when new team members come on board, I sit down with them to take them through our value system, mindset principles and I also tell them. ‘By the way, I’m not your “Got A Minute” boss.’ And I get to see some very interesting expressions, generally good ones.

Imagine you work for Richard Branson

But before I tell you about Got a Minute culture, let me build some scenarios for you and I want you to do some imagining here. I want you to imagine that you are working in Richard Branson’s business. And let’s say you are a Senior Sales Manager in his business. You need to discuss the sales forecast for the next year. And it’s quite important because there are a few things which you are not clear about and you have some thoughts on and you need to sit down with him.

Scenario A

So let’s imagine Scenario A. Scenario A is where you open the door of his office and you say, “Got a minute, Richard?” And Richard Branson says, “Yes, walk in.” And you sit down, you have a chat with him, you tell him what’s going on in your mind and some issues that you were thinking about. Just a lot of things, and you start talking about some other things, one, two, three, lots of stuff has been discussed. And Richard says, “Listen, do one thing. Leave it with me and I’ll come back to you with my thoughts.”

Scenario B

That’s Scenario A. Scenario B is where you say, “Ok, I need to discuss the sales forecast for the next year, so let me see Richard’s diary…” and you book a nice 30 minutes or 45 minutes session with Richard and you send him the invite so he knows about it. You tell him it’s about the sales forecast for the next year and you also send him the pre-read because he needs to look at some of the figures to be well informed of the discussion in advance. So you send him some pre-read and you, yourself are well prepared and you take proper notes, think of all the possible scenarios and you’ve thought it through. And then you get into this meeting.

Now in that meeting, you’re focusing on sales forecasts for the next year and Richard and you are having a good discussion, he’s asking you lots of good questions and you’re coming up with answers and possible options of looking at that situation. And he’s asking you questions like, “So what do you think about this? What are the pros and cons of doing this?” So a lot of brainstorming happening, but he’s the one who’s asking questions. And with that question-asking technique, actually you’ve come up with some really good answers for yourself, he has also built on top of that and by the end of 45 minutes or 30 minutes, there is good clarity.

You’ve got good input from Richard Branson and you’re done with your meeting and you go out of his office.

Which Scenario do you want to be in?

What do you think is a probable scenario? Scenario A, “Got a minute, Richard?” Or Scenario B, where you are very prepared for this meeting. I can pretty much say that you have chosen Scenario B. Right?

What is the situation in YOUR business?

I just want you to pause, just for a second and think it through. What scenarios happen in your business. Is it, “Got a minute, boss?” Or does your team come to you with good preparation, with preplanning, with a proper meeting set in your diary, where you are asking good questions because you’re pretty well informed before the meeting so you can ask quality questions? And so by the time the meeting finishes, it’s not like, “I’ll think about it, leave it with me.” But the team knows exactly what they have to do. Do they go back with a clear sense of direction and execution? Think this through.

And the only thought I want to leave with you is, this: I know each one of us is a business owner, and we are in the process of building a big business. But while we’re in the process of building a big business, remember one thing. You and I, we need to behave in a true sense like a big business. Your time is as important as Richard Branson’s time, and you are the first person who will treat it like that. And that’s when your team and other people start treating your time as a valuable resource.

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Shweta Jhajharia

Shweta Jhajharia is one of the leading authorities on Business Value Building and the creator of the unique 6M Model. Shweta is widely respected as an impactful, intelligent and results orientated professional who helps business leaders unleash their potential to reach meaningful, higher objectives. This realisation of potential and maximisation... Read more