One of the best things in life is knowing you have the opportunity to do great things, and when your day job enables you to work collaboratively with others to do great things for Our Common Good - does it get any better?

Well after almost nine years as CEO of Oxfordshire Community Foundation, I can't help but be reminded of what spurred me into leaving behind my corporate life - a desire to 'make my time count'.

However, time is a lot like sleep in that it is something that you can never get back yet with so many competing demands on our time it can often seem somehow impossible to make every second count.

As a leader of any organisation will know there is always so much more you could be doing to progress your mission but perhaps as a leader of a charitable organisation there is added urgency given our motive is to impact real social change and justice.  

With so many challenges facing our communities and the efforts of so many engaged in supporting them how can I make my time count?

Using my time and that of my team to gather evidence and insight on what works. Influencing others, helping them to understand the nuances of a particular place and the people that live there.  Reaching out and engaging with those in our communities who are seldom heard but are living the experiences we are trying to solve.

So often we are obsessed with what we don't have and what we could do if we had more resources and that in the charitable sector is often seen as funding, investment, endowments, donations etc.

On the other hand our time is one resource we do have total control over yet what percentage of it is really spent doing things that count and that we know are really making a difference?  

Perhaps what is needed most to unlock our role in empowering communities is to transform our relationship with time and the value we place on it.   To make our time really count surely this demands us to focus and pool our resources with others to achieve greater impact and in so doing we will become a more proactive and influential force in the charitable ecosystem?