If you lead a team or organization, chances are you’re hitting the “ceiling of complexity” as daily operational demands suck all your time, leaving no space for strategic thinking and working on “needle-moving” initiatives.

Peter Clayton’s guest for this Career Strategy episode on The TotalPicture Media Podcast is Richard Medcalf, founder of Xquadrant and an executive coach to some of the world’s most impressive and successful CEOs and their teams. Richard shares four key insights that help his clients make real transformational progress in this area and become champions of transformational change.


A common theme amongst CEOs, C-Suite leaders, and my other top performing clients:  too much time in operations and not enough on strategic projects.

  • How do I free myself from operational tasks to focus on more important things?
  • But there are so many books out there, so many tips and tools – why is this still an issue?

Shift 1:  Stop trying to free up time

  • Message: When you focus on higher-value tasks, everything becomes easier
  • Story: “instant delegation mastery”
  • Tool: last year/next year

Shift 2:  Examine your beliefs first

  • Message: You don’t need a productivity hack, you need a mindset shift
  • Story: “the high-performing janitor”
  • Tool: what do I get out of this?

Shift 3:  Acceleration, not speed

  • Message: You need to implement a system for getting better at getting better
  • Story: “$100 hammer”
  • Tool: opex vs capex

Shift 4:  Work the room

  • Message: You can’t level-up without renegotiating your agreements
  • Story: “the perfectly responsive CXO”
  • Tool: agreement/expectation