An Hour a Day Keeps the HR Director Away


Remember my post Crazy Busy…Create T.I.M.E?  If not, go back in the archives and read it.  Today I want to simply add an “R” to this acronym. The “R” stands for relationships.  So now we have T.I.M.E.R..  I am convinced if you don’t understand these baselines of leadership that your timer is clicking in your current position.  And, the HR director could be paying you a visit in the next 6-12 months!  If not the HR director, than you will simply continue to be a marginal leader with people saying some of the below about you.  Right, read on…truths to come.

I am passionate about leadership.  Very passionate.  I like almost all that I do in a day as it relates to my work but I cherish my time with people in leadership positions perhaps the most.  

Note that I did not say “leaders” but rather those that hold positions that people call leaders.  There is a big difference.

I have heard and read that good leadership in any business is pivotal. In the past few years I have been convinced, through my work, that this is in fact true.  Good leadership drives culture and results.  For this reason I am passionate about working with people in leadership positions because there is a huge margin of opportunity to create meaningful and sustainable change.

Unfortunately, great leaders are not a dime a dozen.  One reason this is true is that they do not get the support and mentoring they need.  People assume that they have it together because of the position they hold.  Many may see the symptoms that a person is not a good leader but do not step in to help.  

Opportunities are lost.  Inefficiencies creep in.  Communication crumbles.  Trust erodes.  Culture is crushed.  Results take a beating.

All  because people in leadership positions are not focused on the right things at the right times.

Let me explain and give you a few examples of what people say about these “leaders”…As I referenced in the opening of this post.

~  “You never know what you are going to get from him.  One day he is smiling and good and the next day he is ripping your head off.”

~  “She never comes out of her office.”

~ “He hides behind his industry knowledge and only got the job because he has been here over a decade.”

~ “She is a jerk!”

~ “He is ‘do as I say not as I do.’  He says have one on one meetings with your staff yet he hasn’t met with me in months.”

~ “It’s great that she sells a lot but as far as managing her team…zero!”

The above are real things that I have heard and are not biased towards any industry or business.  And are only a handful of truths. So what is the issue?

People are not focused on people and therefore not building the right relationships.  Period.


Let’s start simple, but impactful.  I want you to commit to an hour a day to simply building relationships with your peers and direct reports.  I get it, where are you going to find that hour.  My answer, find it!

My guess is if you don’t see the value in what I am saying you will not find the time.  That’s cool.

What’s not so cool is that the perception of you probably is one of the above but nobody is telling you because of that “leadership position” you hold.  On that note, a sign that you are building the right relationships is that people start to give you The Gift of Truth (Go back and read that post too to tie this in a knot).

Spend just an hour a day talking to people, having a coffee with someone, walking around the office, pulling someone aside for 15 minutes, calling that remote employee, asking about someone’s weekend, congratulating someone on a job well done, or coaching someone on approach or a technical skill.

Start today spending perhaps the most important hour in your day towards being an impactful and respected leader…with longevity.

Finally, I get it…”No S***, Ted.  Who doesn’t know relationships are everything in business and in life”.  Question is, what are you doing daily to build relationships?  My guess, not enough.

I never promised you profound thoughts…just TRUTHS.


Stay True,







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  1. This is great and thank you for your coaching as always. This is very true. While building relationships should be one of the easiest things to do as a leader we sometimes forget to slow down and work harder at that. I am guilty sometimes of it. It’s important to understand people’s needs and listen. There is nothing I hate more then to sit in front of someone and while I am talking they are emailing or looking at thier cell phone. Total turn off and happens a lot. So, when someone comes to my office to talk to me I lock my computer down, shove my cell phone aside and often close my door so they have my attention. I have also found myself moving my chair around to the side of my desk so people feel I am more engaged in our conversation rather then the distance across the desk that can sometimes feel like a mile apart and add weird tension and intimidation in the air. My thoughts anyways 🙂

  2. Thank you for the very needed reminder. Sometimes it is the truths that are in fact so simple that it is in fact profound. Profound because it is so easy to lose focus on the basics allowing our eyes to focus on what we perceive as bigger and better. It is in fact the basics we need to focus on to allow us to be successful with the bigger and better

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