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Paul Boucherle

PSA Security integrators talk time management

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I caught the last two days of the PSA Security Convention which took place on Florida's panhandle in Destin, Fla., this week.

About 30 of North America’s top security integrators attended this annual event. On Monday morning PSA sponsored an educational session about time management.

I know, it sounds dry, but it wasn’t.

The moderator, Paul Boucherle, asked attendees if they knew the dollar amount for hour’s time for the following positions: a tech on the road; a salesperson; service guys?

The answer, of course, was yes, yes and yes. But when he asked “What’s an hour of your time [company owner/executive management] worth?” The answers were more tentative.

“You have all the metrics in the world, except this one,” Boucherle said.

Boucherle did offer a formula to determine an owner’s hourly value [net profit or equity contributions, divided by the number of equity owners, divided by 160] but his point was that your time is worth a lot, and you need to ensure that you’re spending it as wisely as you would any other business expenditure.

It’s important to determine high-value time investment versus low-value time investment and allocate your time accordingly, he said.

Time doing someone else’s work or getting involved in minutiae is low-value time, he pointed out, so delegate.

It’ll give you more time for high-value work, build your team’s competency, build your team’s confidence and ability to work together, he said.

He discussed the challenge and necessity of letting go of control for business owners, saying you’ve got to keep your ego in check. And while you should expect accountability, you need to allow your team to make and learn from mistakes.

Of paramount importance in all this is a business owner’s ability to communicate. He advised taking time to understand your personal communication style and the style of your employees and then setting up "structured time" for communicating, going through problems, etc. Kind of like professors’ office hours in college … lots of seemingly basic stuff that it seemed like many in the room hadn’t spent time thinking about in a while.

The talk stimulated some interesting discussion at PSA Convention—and, unlike many business meetings I attend--it wrapped up before the scheduled time.