CEO - Bunch of Keys with Text on Golden Keychain.One way the best CEOs get important work done is by pulling partially back from their executive staff in order to think and focus.

Bain & Company partner James Allen argues that this is an important move to make, and elaborates on what he means in a Sept. 27 Harvard Business Review blog posting focused on leadership.

Allen writes that CEOs must carve out time away from their staffs for advancing their own strategies, because the staff often has a different agenda.

“The average CEO inherits a staff committed to serving the institutional requirements of the office of CEO, not the CEO’s strategic agenda,” Allen said in the blog posting. “If you don’t ruthlessly protect your time, you will watch your calendar rapidly fill up with retirement parties, ribbon cuttings and other corporate tasks that have nothing to do with advancing the strategy.

Allen recommends that CEOs should focus their staff on what’s most important: and start saying no to people. They should devote 60 percent of their time to crucial tasks like governance, and investor relations, and the rest on strategy, he said.

Allen’s other recommendations include staying out of arguments between other managers, celebrating employees who support customers and advance company strategy, and also focusing on both strategy and execution.

For the full blog posting, click here.

Source: Bain & Company, Harvard Business Review