A simple rule of thumb to get the most out of your people.

Adam Albrecht
2 min readOct 17

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When I was a kid I loved the movie Smokey and The Bandit. I was into trucks and Trans Ams. So a movie about those two vehicles racing across America, starring Burt Reynolds and his mustache, was an obvious Oscar winner to me.

I also loved the theme song from the movie, East Bound and Down by Jerry Reed. My favorite line from the song is the classic, ‘We’ve got a long way to go, and a short time to get there.’

Those lyrics still play in my head today. Because as a business owner, and both a football and track and field coach, I have big goals for my teams to accomplish. And I have a short time to make them happen.

Getting The Most Out Of Your People

To get the most out of your people there is a simple exercise to help you budget the time and energy you spend with each of the members of your team.

Grab a sheet of paper. (Yes, they still make paper.) On the left side write down a list of those you manage or coach in order from most productive to least productive. Your productivity rock stars will be at the top. Your ‘Why-are-they-still-here’ person is at the bottom.

Then, to the right of that, create a list, in order, of how much time you spend managing or coaching each of the people you lead.

Now, you are going to draw a good old-fashioned straight line connecting the names on the left list to the same name on the right list.

If you are drawing straight lines, and the lines don’t cross, you are budgeting your time appropriately. If your lines Christopher Cross, you spend too little time with your most talented people, and too much time with your least talented people. It is time to re-budget.

Key Takeaway

Maximize the return on your time invested in your team. This means the most productive people should get the most time and attention. The least productive people should get the least of your time. This rewards good behavior from your best people. And it ensures that your time and energy are invested where they will get the greatest return. Spending more time with your less productive team members sends the wrong signal to your great talent. And it is a waste of time. With rare exceptions, the least productive team members will always generate the least results.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.

Originally published at http://adamalbrecht.blog on October 17, 2023.

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Adam Albrecht

I am a growth-minded entrepreneur and author of the book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? I share what I'm learning on my journey. And I try to make it funny.