The time value of money (TVM) is the concept that money available at the present time is worth more than the identical sum in the future due to its potential earning capacity. This core principle of finance holds that, provided money can earn interest, any amount of money is worth more the sooner it is received.

This is one of the best analogies to think about how you are spending not only your money—but your time. Equate one hour of your time to one dollar. Then, think about the following options: “Option 1 will yield a zero percent return; Option 2 will yield a five percent return; and Option 3 will yield a 20 percent return. Of course, everyone wants the 20 percent return on their investment and picks Option 3.” (See Reference Here.)

Now, think about how you are spending your time—who is it with? Are you spending all of your time with the 5-alarm fires, with all the problem-children, and the disasters? Or, are you spending your time where the opportunities are, where the results are, where the potential lies?

As leaders, we are going to have to deal with problems and those 5-alarm fires as they come up. But we need to set time aside to make sure that we are understanding the true overall investment of our time.  Experts say that we should be spending 80% of our time with our top performers. How much time are you spending with your superstars—maybe 1 meeting a week? How can you increase that time?

Here are a few ways to motivate your superstars every week:

  1. Give feedback through continuous learning.
  2. Help them grow by defining multiple career paths.
  3. Encourage upper- and lower-level mentors.
  4. Try not to micromanage—let them excel and go beyond the box.
  5. Leave time on your calendar for walk-ins and walk-around conversations.