And where, exactly, is that executive-skill sweet spot? Shapero's answer may surprise you: Your time is best invested in projects with the lowest probability of success.
Although home runs and small wins can be safely delegated to star players with proven track records, only executive leadership can make a significant difference in big-bet and junk projects.
"[Big bets are] where I can add most value, so I double down and get personally involved," Shapero writes. "My goal is to use influence and problem-solving skills to turn this project into a home run, and then I hand it off to a star on my team."
Junk projects also require swift, dedicated energy from the top--but with an entirely different aim. "I do not ignore junk projects," he says. "I get directly involved and destroy, so as to free up the organization's resources for other projects."