Presidental ‘Executive Time’ Is Time Well Spent


Recent news reports, commentators and senators have criticized President Trump for blocking off a number of hours on his calendar for “Executive Time.” The implication is that blocking this time is not really executive behavior. Certainly not presidential. Some are arguing that his Executive Time is a waste of time.

Is this fair?

In fact, blocked-off Executive Time may be the most important time of the day for the manager. 

Journalists, consultants and academia are often confused about the differences between the way an individual contributor and the manager spend their time.  The staffer, who does the work assigned by his supervisor, gets graded on his efficiency — getting more work done in fewer hours and a lower cost. 

But the manager, from the first-line supervisor, to CEO, to President of the United States should not get graded on “efficiency.” The manager should get graded on effectiveness.

Effectiveness is the accomplishment of organizational goals. Here is the, yes, genius, of President Trump. He is steadily and effectively advancing his agenda. He is working toward increased employment, a stronger stock market, a more conservative judiciary, and greater national security. 

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7 Responses

  1. Jack Yoest says:

    This article is required reading for my students at The Catholic University of America

  2. Amanda Johnson says:

    The concept of setting aside “executive time” was really interesting. It is not something that many people think about or take seriously, which was clear in this article. Although, it could be a game changer in making great decisions. So often, managers just simply don’t have enough time to put their best foot forward in important decisions. If they establish time to just think about the situation from the beginning, they are enabling themselves to make the best decision. President Trump did just that with his executive time. He created slots of his days where he was able to focus on what was important.

    To add on to the importance of this executive time, I would also like to discuss the point made about making great decisions. The article states, “Effective executives do not make a great many decisions”. This goes back to the importance of taking your time to make decisions. Good, effective managers only have to make few great decisions because that means they took the time to make them great. If they spent their time making many, unimportant decisions, they will leave much less of a positive impact on their organization. Time is arguably one of the most important things to a manager.

  3. Dominic Decker says:

    After reading the article, I have a much better understanding of the importance for managers to have “Executive Time”. President Trump had been scheduling “Executive Time” as part of his daily responsibilities. By scheduling this executive time, President Trump is executing part of Completed Staff Work. As the article states, the manager’s job is to plan, lead, organize, and control. This “Executive Time” is allowing the president to plan his decision making. It is giving him the time to sit down and just think. Thinking is a crucial role for any person in a leadership role. In order for that leader to make a decision, they need the time to truly think about which decision is best. With that comes how all outcomes and consequences will affect others. This is enacting the virtue of practical wisdom. Allowing this time of thought and contemplation gives managers the ability to practice this virtue. Therefore, they will be able to make virtuous decisions which are crucial for managers. Combining virtue with completed staff work optimizes the company’s value and decision making abilities. Scheduling “Executive Time” is actually very beneficial and provided the President with the ability to put completed staff work and virtue in action.

  4. Emily Lynn says:

    It is very important that the boss has time to think and make decisions. After all, that is the main task of the boss. For somebody like the President of the United States, having this time is extremely crucial and valuable. The President is making some of the most important decisions that impact a whole country, all while meeting with other politicians and staff. Among these meetings and hearing people’s concerns, taking the time to sit back and solely think about what needs to be done is necessary. In President Trump’s case, his daily planned “Executive Time” was a chance to make decisions, without other distractions. This is a great tactic for managers to employ, because sometimes it is can be hard to have undistracted time throughout the day to just think.
    This article also gets at another important management strategy: managers should be effective. They do not need to be constantly busy and actively working, but they can actually do nothing. At least it would look like they’re doing nothing because they will be thinking. It is the job of the individual contributors to be working and being efficient, because with their diligent work the manager can make and implement decisions effectively.
    By scheduling time to strictly think and make decisions, managers will be more effective in their work.

  5. After reading the article it was interesting to learn about the concept of “executive time.” The article mentions how president trump would set aside in advance “executive time” in his agenda and for that he was heavily criticized. Something interesting that the article mentions is how we should not judge on “efficiency” but the effectiveness. If the boss is completing his job ahead of time that is where he succeeds. That is something President Trump did he was completing his organizational goals effectively and in advance thus completing his agenda. By setting aside time for “executive time” allows the boss to think about his decision and plan his next move. By planning ahead the manager is able to do his job effectively.

  6. Abby Jackson says:

    “Executive Time” is time that is set aside by an executive in order to focus on decision-making that is effective, but not necessarily efficient. The value of this stems from the practice of CSW by the executive’s employees, as the executive is given time to make decisions if they are not working on finalizing, correcting, or answering questions about a project. If CSW is applied correctly, the boss has the freedom to dedicate plenty of time to put towards considering the decisions they make, which ensures that they can put significant thought and reflection into making sure that their decisions are the correct ones. In this context, it makes sense for a president to ensure that they have time to think and to avoid wasting time on work that could be completed by trusted employees. In this way, instead of taking time out of the day of the manager to collect data, schedule other workers, or do other tasks that don’t carry the weight of the individual’s responsibilities, the manager can focus on making sure that they make the best choices with the information and completed work that they are provided.

  7. Mohammad alajmi says:

    Different people have different gracious gifts or virtues. Every individual works and achieves goals on the basis of those qualities and characteristics which they are blessed with. Different individuals come together for a common vision or mission and contribute in this vision from diverse perspectives. It is the ability of the whole team to achieve shared goals which matters for achieving dominance and superiority in a particular field or area of work.
    Donald Trump, in this example, should be given the freedom to have “Executive Hours” to himself because he needs time to contemplate and reflect on his duties, strategy, and goals. While consultation with other team members is one of the key features of a successful endeavour, individuals can achieve their highest potential of productivity and efficiency by prioritizing themselves over every other person. However, Donald Trump is accountable for his actions. His success is not necessarily measured by how he spends his time but it is better to measure his success on the basis of accomplishments and completion of tasks. For example, as long as Donald Trump is able to achieve his goals of security, improved employment for public, and establishment of a fair conservative judiciary are achieved, how he spends his “Executive Hours” must not be problem for other people.

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