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The One Currency That All Extraordinary Leaders Have In Common

How much margin time do you have built into your life?

I often write about currency. When I was asked to give a TED talk I delivered it on words as currency.

It was a unique perspective for most and I received hundreds of comments, emails and letters about it. I said that words are just as important as the dollars in your bank account because words build or destroy, words can transform nations, start or stop wars – and save lives.

In business – words are critical. They are the engine that delivers your message and builds your brand.

This is the second article in a series on currency and I have been thinking about it for a long time. For years I’ve worked with world changers such as CEOs, celebrities, speakers and humanitarians. People who change and save lives. Samuel Bistrian, the CEO of Roma boots who has impacted the lives of orphans all over the world by doing boot drops and giving them free rain boots.

Greg Secker, in London, who travels to Africa and beyond fitting children with hearing aids. Harry Singha, the global king of youth leadership, who intentionally builds great leaders.

All of these world changers have one currency in common that allows them to live in excellence.

That currency is Time.

I learned years ago that you have a choice of two paths to follow. I could choose to follow the basic thinkers who say I don’t have enough time and I don’t have enough energy (or money, or fill in the blank) or I could take the other path – and create margin time to live my life’s calling. I could choose to create abundance, and give it too.

Time is currency.
Time runs out.
Time is valuable.
Time is an asset.
Time is more valuable than diamonds, rubies, dollars or gold.

Ask a cancer patient who doesn’t have much time left what they would give to have more.

How are you leveraging your time? Are you treating time like dollars or are you wasting it?

I coach people to use words as dollars. When you see a word as having a monetary value you are more selective about which words you choose.

It’s the same way with time.

When you view time as a currency that just might run out (it will) you will think of every hour in terms of equity.

Make margin time.

What is it you want to do that you haven’t yet done?

Create margin time and do it.

Here is more clarity:

If you want to achieve a major life goal or create a business or a life or a family that leaves a lasting legacy on the world, it’s possible that you will need more time.

You might need to think differently, or pattern interrupt your schedule.

Do you take advantage of the hours in the middle of the night? Two days a week I let my body naturally awake and instead of fighting that 3am alertness I get up and a focus on a project that changes lives. It’s an intentional awareness that I need those hours to accomplish these things.

What time can you carve out of your schedule for those unexpected guests, visits from someone in need, or events that could transform your business?

3 steps to leverage time:

1. Think of every minute as a dollar. This change in thinking will change the way you view time. Don’t waste it.

2. Create more time. Evaluate your schedule and make a list of time wasters. Eliminate those things right away. Even if it’s temporary (a month, a year)

3. Set aside a new hour each day. Find an hour you currently do not utilize and use it to achieve your goal or project.
If you eat lunch out, for instance, and decide to use that hour to focus on a project, that’s 1 hour a day times 5 days a week and adds up to 20 extra hours a month. Imagine what you could do and achieve!

Create margin time.
It’s there.
Dream bigger than big and execute.


  1. No leader can get to where they want to go without making sometimes difficult decisions about how and where time is spent. Time has, in many ways, become our most precious resource. Making time for what’s most important, and getting into the habit of making tough calls about your time and where you invest it is essential being a great leader.

  2. Hello Tammy,

    This article really speaks to my heart. Something I often tell people, especially when they seem hesitant about pursuing their dreams, is “Life is now, Don’t Wait!”

    How easy it is to put till “someday” that dream, desire or goal and all the while the clock is ticking. Reminds me of this Benjamin Franklin quote “You may delay, but time will not.”

    What really helped me to begin to restructure my life in such a way that I now pursue what is most dear to my heart, is “pattern interrupting” not only my schedule, but my lifestyle as well!

    Your words here meant a lot to me today and I wanted to express my gratitude to you for putting them out there. Thank you


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