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The High-Potential Leader by Geri Willigan, Ram Charan

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2Increase the Return on Your Time (ROYT)

If you’re like most hipos I know, your biggest complaint is that you don’t have enough time to do everything you need to do, especially as you rise in an organization and face larger and more complex projects and challenges. There’s a limit to how much you can expand your working hours without ruining your health or damaging your personal relationships. (Sleeping less is not the best option.) But just as you can raise the return on your money by smart investing, you can learn techniques to raise the return on your time. Leveraging your multipliers—those things that allow you to accomplish more—will free your time and mental space to focus on bigger things, including your own learning and self-improvement, while delivering excellent results.

Get Comfortable with People Better Than You

At one point in my career, I decided to call some of my former students from when I was teaching at Harvard Business School. Several had become CEOs of very large companies when they were only in their forties, and I wanted to hear about their experiences. I remembered that I had given one of them a rather poor grade, but when I called him he was profusely polite. “Please come see me. You can stay at the house,” he offered. “And let me know anything that you need.”

I accepted the invitation. After a pleasant dinner, his wife dismissed herself, and he and I talked over glasses of wine. I apologized about giving him a low grade, but he said not to worry, ...

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