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Vistage 030818

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  • Vistage 030818
    • The Organized Executive

The Organized Executive

3 H

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Vistage meeting filmed at ITProTV

You've got an opportunity today to see a really powerful presentation. Bruce Byer has been doing this with Vistage members for 35 years? >> 34. >> 34 years. 1,100 plus presentations. Am I right about that? And everyone one of them has got nuggets of gold in them, and so that's what you're gonna hear today. I watched this yesterday, as you know, and I will tell you take notes, and react, and interact with him. I appreciate his being here, thank you sir. >> Thank you Bill, good morning everybody? >> Good morning. >> Please find in front of you the very simple one page double-sided document we'll be working from today. The topic on the table is The Organized Executive. Some call that an oxymoron, hopefully that's not your perspective. It's a response actually for busy people, are any of you busy? Busy people typically have too much to do and simply not enough time to get everything done. They have too many projects, promises and priorities they commit to, and not enough uninterrupted time proactively scheduled everyday to get those things done. That's a really important point as we begin our meeting. Rhetorically I ask where are you in your calendar? I'll challenge you to show me your name and your calendar on any level where you schedule one to two hours every day to be three things, unavailable, inaccessible, and for all intents and purposes, uninterruptible, to work on projects, promises, and priorities. I bet you can't do it. If you can, I'll commend you. But if you're not in your calendar proactively, then you might suddenly realize that to some degree you wait for time to free up everyday to get your priorities done, and you must know by now that time does not free up. You can rely on wishing, hoping, magic, luck, or prayer that it will. But you can simply, these are a lot of simple techniques that are based on common sense, but not necessarily common practice, or you can simply schedule time for you. Busy people still have, and this is not going away, so much information to manage. Information overload has been in our world for a long time now. The good news is that, that information is a whole lot less on paper, and a whole lot more electronically. But nonetheless, there are still so many busy people who don't have time to manage the information in their lives. There's a certain population or a number of people who still have stacks or piles in their respective offices. I hope that doesn't describe any of you, I'm not optimistic about that. [LAUGH] It's been replaced though by something called techno clutter. Techno clutter, are stacks and stacks mostly of email messages in the inbox. Please note, by the way, that the email inbox is not a file folder. It wasn't designed that way, not intended to be used that way, yet so many people keep hundreds or thousands in there. There's a reason not to do that and I'll share with you today. At any rate, busy people just don't take the time to administrate their positions, and so many don't have the administrative or executive assistant to do that. Therefore it's a neglected part of the leadership or management role significantly affecting effectiveness, because it just feels so overwhelming to so many, to have all this information. Busy people have lots and lots of meetings and appointments, not enough time to prepare for them. At this moment in time, the number of people who have already walked into meeting rooms such as this, somewhat to significantly unprepared, is quite high. Many have the objective just to get to the meeting. They walk through the door. They take a deep breath, and say words like, I made it. As though that's the goal, just showing up. Obviously that's not the objective. It's more to what? Be totally prepared to positively lead, or what we don't stress enough, actively participate in the meetings that we attend. Anyone who walks into a meeting in your business, in your department, who says something like that, I would imagine you might cringe to some level. Either the agenda wasn't done well, wasn't distributed in advance, or more practically people didn't take the time to review and read it, and prepare for the meeting. That same very high number of people will not formally take time at the end of today to wrap it up. I think you would agree with this, we have entered the era of the borderless workday. Do you agree with that? You and I can work 24/7 today anywhere in the world. Doesn't that sound great? [LAUGH] It's not, it's really affecting people's lives. If busy people are not physically working, they're mentally, seemingly, constantly thinking about work. In response to that I offer a technique today that I call the workday bookends. The workday bookends, simply frame your day. I recommend that you allocate and schedule the first and last 15 to 30 minutes of your day to perform the bookends. The morning one is called the morning start-up. The morning start-up simply put, get ready for the day. It takes about 15 minutes to start up your day. The most important thing to do during that time is to identify the priorities of your day. What do you want to accomplish by the close of business? For those of you who are familiar with, or even advocates of the classic, and still best selling work by Doctor Stephen Covey, written in 1989, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, this is where we examine more closely habit number two. Anybody know what habit number two is? [LAUGH] Bill? >> Begin with the end in mind. >> There you go. Bill's a former Covey, what? What's the word? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> [LAUGH] Begin with the end in mind, so you begin your day with what you wanna accomplish by the end of the day. That's a very deductive methodology organization to a great extent. It's based on deductive reasoning, thinking, and acting. The other bookend is the last 15 to 30 minutes of your day, simply known as the daily wrap-up. So whereas the morning start-up is getting ready, the daily wrap-up is feeling finished, for the moment. We're never really finished. But that feeling of being finished is so valuable and it takes such little effort. The worst way to end your day, the absolute worst way to end your workday is to drop the last thing you were working on and leave. Yet the percentage of people in position such as yours who work right till the end look at their watch or their phone and say I've gotta go. Drop and leave, much closer to 100 than 0%, worst way to end the day. I urge you to consider this practical technique of the workday bookends if you're not already doing it. The first, I think I mentioned are really to earlier by the way, is called priority worktime, the allocation of one or two hours per day. Priority work time abbreviated with the letters PWT. Priority work time is defined in reverse, it's time to work on priorities, and I raised that again, because there's a classic time management concept at play here, and I'll probably bore you with those classic concepts a bit. This is my 41st year as a consultant so I have this database of these classic concepts. But this one says, what gets scheduled gets done, perhaps you've heard that. Therefore it is my strong recommendation that in your calendar you schedule, in a recurring way, the morning start-up, the daily wrap-up, and the one or two hours of priority work time everyday. That will fill up a lot of white spaces for you, which is a good thing, because the basic scheduling system used by most can be characterised by the statement, see white and fill it. Let that resonate for just a second, see white and fill it. The calendar needs to talk to you. The calendar needs to manage your time if you think about it, and you need to manage your calendar. Because if you are someone who constantly gives your time away to anyone who wants it, then these administrative things become neglected, and when you neglect the administrative part of your work, you're stress level automatically will increase, and I say that almost automatically, because it is very true. Therefore, those of you who wish to reduce any of the unnecessary distress in your life, I've just shared with you a significant way to do that. Busy people however, suffer from, and I don't use that word casually, from a constant number of interruptions, disruptions, and distractions. Those three words have been the biggest obstacles, roadblocks, impediments to high effectiveness in the workplace forever. They're three different words, but they all have the same effect. They cause us to stop and divert our attention from what we were doing at the moment. Three different words, but they all have the same effect. Interruptions are internal, easy to remember. People within your business, within your building, interrupting other people within the business or building with the average number of items per interruption is about one, therefore it's not uncommon to see busy people continuously starting something, stopping, starting and stopping seemingly all day long. Many come into work everyday with good intentions, and before they know it it's 4:30, where did the day go? There's that list of things still sitting there. Rhetorically, I ask what's the current state of the written policy and procedure within your business that tells all staff when it is, and then it's not appropriate to interrupt others. I bet you don't have one. As a result you might be experiencing what I call unintentional selfishness, borderline narcissism. Paraphrased it means, I need it, stop what you're doing, and take care of me. I am not thinking about you, it's unintentional. You typically are high on the accommodating scale. Therefore somebody walks up to your desk or door, maybe they knock, [SOUND], they ask you that most common question, which is? >> [CROSSTALK] >> What was that? >> Do you have a minute? >> Do you have a minute is the most common. Are you busy is the most ludicrous question. >> [LAUGH] >> Do you have a second is a growing trend on the part of the ever popular millenial generation. To the question, do you have a minute or a second the problem seems to be the default answer, summarized on one word, sure. The two most popular words related here are, rated to this topic that I hear the most are, hijacked and derailed, people are saying my day get hijacked or I get derailed, and it’s constant interruptions. I'd like to acknowledge two things about all of you right now. Number one, I don’t think any of you have any time to be here today, You have a whole bunch of other things you could be doing instead of sitting here. But you are here, and looking around the room, I would conclude very confidently that all of you, for the most part, are unavailable, inaccessible, and uninterruptible. Secondly, I would like to acknowledge that all of you right now is that, there are currently, and will be throughout the morning at least, people looking for you. They're walking up to your desk or door and you're not sitting there. They're sending you emails or text messages expecting you to be poised at some keyboard and will respond readily, you're not gonna be doing that probably. They're calling you expecting you to be answering, you're not doing that. I'd like for all of you to take a moment and think about what's happening to all of the people who are and will be looking for you this morning. I would offer three things, perhaps there's a fourth. Number one, they're already forming a double line outside where you work, waiting for you to get back. Number two they're leaving you messages, or what's the third one? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Is that a good thing Louis? Figuring out themselves. There are five characteristics I recommend that every employee, every staff member, every manager, etc., should be characteristic of. The five words are, these are a little wordy, I'll repeat them if you need me to, initiative, self-reliance, commitment, accountability, and empowerment. My opinion of what constitutes a functional individual, within an organization, collectively a functional team, especially the first two, initiative and self-reliance, doesn't it make sense for people to take personal responsibility, For the answers and solutions to their questions and problems? Therefore, if we can empower people to do that, and if we can write out, and launch clearly defined policies and procedures related to interruptions, it is remarkable what that does to the workday. I'd like for you to really think about that this morning. Disruptions are, yes sir. >> Can you give us the five words one more time? >> Sure, [LAUGH] initiative,- >> yep >> Self-reliance, committment, accountability, which is a popular word, And empowerment. Disruptions are external, mostly attributed to customers and clients who are never underscored as many times as we need to for emphasize, an interruption, wrong paradigm. Today is not a topic to reduce or eliminate customer client interruptions or disruptions, there's no such thing. The problem though is a day filled with constant interruptions can cause misplaced frustration on customers and clients. >> You get a phone call or an e-mail about 2:00 in the afternoon, your day is not going well, cuz you've been interrupted all morning. And the attitude might be, what do you want? I don't have time for this. At that moment, customer service has taken a dip. [COUGH] And the wonderful world of distraction. I'm sorry, the wonderful world of technology has become such a significant source of destruction for so many people. We have in the work place today, in addition to some other things I've already shared with you, chronic preoccupation. Being chronically preoccupied is being physically present in meetings and conversations, yet, mentally and emotionally someplace else. And technology has had a great effect on that. I can already see some of you are distracted, that look in your eye, [LAUGH]. Hopefully, it's not about the topic or the words that are spewing out from the front of the room so far. Busy people though are constantly preoccupied with things to do, people to see, places to go, people to call, things to discuss, things to delegate, emails to write, what's for dinner? So much going on, and then, the phone rings or the email pops up where the person is standing at your door, and suddenly make that left turn. Speaking about technology, how many of your use Outlook? Show of hands, how many of you do? Outlook just like everything, every email system we use or software we use has what are called notifications. Outlook's got a very nice one. You're at your desk and suddenly fading in on the screen is an email. And you could regulate the speed of that, and it just appears. And if Outlook at a voice it might sound like this. It might say, excuse me, you have a message. And at that point, maybe your diversion happens. And then, you become even more preoccupied with your day as that generates. There are those among us who can work very well with those notifications on. Yet, there might be a lot of us who cannot, one of the tips might be to turn off your notifications where you have to check your emails instead of email checking in with you, a very settle technique. Busy people have lots and lots of emails that pour into the inbox everyday. I wonder how many emails you have in your inbox as we begin our meeting today? Inbox, not a file folder. And here's another thing to look at, how many emails do you have in your sent items folder? Years and years ago, I worked with a manufacturing company in Waukesha, Wisconsin. They manufacture the equipment that converts pulp to paper. The second worst smell I had ever experienced. The first was my work with the mortuary in Southern California, where the meetings were in the room next to a crematory machine or whatever they call it. That was the worst, [LAUGH] smell. At any rate, while working with the CEO of this manufacturing company, we were talking about money left on the table every month in his company due to poor follow up, follow through and poor closure of emails sent. In which point I just said to him that the word MLOT. And he looked at me kind of queasily, and said what are you talking about? MLOT, Money Left On the Table. So we created an acronym of sorts and abbreviation for that. And we had everybody's attention to better manage our sent items folder. Because so many of his staff, and I dare say, so many people in general, have hundreds of thousands of sent item emails as well. I offer two methodologies for email organization if you're looking for a new one. The most popular one that I present is called the active only email system. Simply put keep only emails needing a reply in your inbox, doesn't make logical sense? I think so. All others should be what? Deleted, keep as many hundreds or thousands in your deleted folder, as your server allows. Microsoft has redefined the word deleted, don't you think? I think deleted, taken literally, means disappear, but no. Microsoft says, we'll just keep it in this other folder in case you need it. Delete them, archive them. Delegate them, forward them to somebody else. Or make a task out of them. I wonder how many of you are familiar with the ability to convert email to tasks within your system. If you're not, in my opinion you are missing out on arguable the best part of the outlook software at least. If an email takes you longer than five minutes to respond to, it's really not an email anymore, it's a task. Many people look at it and say, I've got work on this, and get back to this person, and they leave it in the inbox. And then about five to eight minutes, where is it? It's gone, not the best place to put in. Keep only emails waiting for a reply in your sent items folder, everything else should be out of there. So that you can, at the end of each day during the daily wrap up, see who hasn't gotten back to you. When we send emails, today we make three assumptions, the person got it, they read it, and will take the appropriate action. One of those is a safe assumption, they got it. And we're at an age, also, where, in my opinion, this is not a casual opinion, emails are not written well in the workplace. What's the current state of the written document that tells all staff guidelines and etiquette points related to email. I bet you don't have one of those either. I may be getting too old, I'm a lot older than most of you. But I believe that punctuation and grammar are really missing in the workplace to a great extent. At any rate, the act of only system suggest keep only those needing or waiting for a reply in your system. Now, the push back on this is very justified in theory. A person may say to me, well, what's the problem here? Can search and find anything very quickly, but that is not the point. The point is the number that you see on the screen indirectly, if you're using Outlook it's on the lower left-hand side of the screen as you look at it. If you're a Mac user as I am, it's on the top center. I forget where it is in Google if you're using Gmail, Google mail. But that number serves as a billboard, a billboard works on us subliminally. They blast us with messages. You probably passed 50 to 100 billboards on your way here this morning. Did you stop the car and read every one, well of course not. It's a blast, it's a message, that number will blast a message to you. And it could cause a paradigm that simply says I'm so overloaded, I have zero time to work on anything today that's not urgent. And that's in habit number three of Covey's seven habits book, put first things first. The matrix of the four quadrants where I would recommend you review if you have that book or just Google, habit number three. Everything we do in quadrant two that's important but not urgent because that's where growth is, active only. The other methodology of email organization is called inbox zero. Inbox zero is where you end your day with no emails in your inbox, also known as a temporary moment of joy. If you get 50 or less emails per day which might rule out most if not all of you. Inbox zero is a possibility and if you know how to convert emails to tasks that also makes it a possibility. That's what I use, everyday before I'm done there are no emails in the inbox. Outlook used to have this line in there in a very transparent almost font that said there are no items in this view. And it's just such a nice message for so many people and so fleeting. Are you managing your emails well? On average, my studies show that we need approximately on average 45 minutes per day just to keep up with emails. And if you're someone who's fitting in time for emails, whether it's at lunch, traffic lights, restrooms, etc, dinner table, there may be a better way. Finally, busy people typically have or work for companies and organizations. That have a lot of strategies and action items related to their business plan for the fiscal year. I am hopeful, yet not optimistic totally, that every business represented here this morning, has a very well organized and monthly managed business plan. Here we are in the middle, almost, of March, middle of Q1 of the calendar if not fiscal year. And the number of companies and organizations that still haven't finished their business plan for the year is concerning to me. If you're a sports fan it's like being in the middle of the first quarter of a game and the game plan's still not set. What's the state of your business plan? More importantly from an organizational perspective, do you take the time, do you allocate the time in your organization to inspect those expectations? By bringing the business planning team together and asking four questions every month. How did we do last month? How are we doing year to date? What changes in the plan need to be made? And what are we gonna do next month? The reset, the recalibration, the inspection, as I mentioned before. Organizations that do that force the plan to work. And force their companies and organizations to grow, which helps grow their people. It's a simple formula, it's a difficult discipline. As a strategic planning facilitator, my other role, I work with quite a number of organizations. Every month I visit them for either a half or a full day depending on the scope of the project. I don't know this for sure, but I have a feeling that the day I'm supposed to be at these various companies, the people who I'm about to meet with are hoping I cancel my visit. >> [LAUGH] >> I don't take it personally because they what? Have zero time to meet with me. I think Vistage chairs have the same problem [LAUGH] by the way. But in general we always show up and our intention is to provide value but there's no time for this. So I run that agenda, ask those four question. We show a slide show of graphs on the big screen, those are scoreboards. And we ask, are we winning or losing, and how much time is left? It's such a simple concept, and it really creates an environment where people feel in control more than not. I think you would agree that we've been in a very strong economy for some time now. In the 40 plus years I've been a consultant, I know it's not a question of when, I'm sorry, not a question of if but when the economy will go south on us again. Now is a time to really maximize what we can accomplish as organizations and the business plans should drive that. Business plan is also a great place to build contingency plans for any down turn. Can you relate to any of the things I've shared with you in my opening remarks? [LAUGH] If you can, I'm really delighted to have the opportunity to share with you tips, tools, and techniques for high effectiveness this morning. If you take a look at the handout, let's go over it briefly. The next question we're going to address, and this is where I stop pontificating as much and get everybody involved. I'd like for all of you to be thinking about this question, what's your biggest time management challenge these days? I'm going to start with the Vistage members and then I'd like to hear from many, if not all, of the guests in the room. We'll have time to do that. Below that you see a needs assessment. The primary purpose of my work is to help each of you improve your current organizational condition within the next 30 days. Rather than be presumptuous as to what you need, I ask you to determine what you need. And allow me if you will to provide customized tips and techniques to help you improve or resolve any challenges or needs that you have. On the bottom of the page, you see in the blue shaded area a very simple question. Which of the above numbers is your biggest need right now? We'll fill that out together but some people like to do it as we go, that's okay. On the reverse side of your document are 12 tips, tools, and techniques that I will be alluding to throughout the morning. So we'll use that more as a recap and review towards the end. And then we will complete our morning between 11:30 and noon by answering the questions towards the bottom of the reverse side. The first question, what's the most important thing That you heard today, so be looking for that in your notes, try to put stars or asterisks next to those things. And then there are four questions that we will conclude with this morning. The four questions are simply, what's the one thing you will start doing, stop doing, delegate more, and simplify to become more effectively organized in what you do. I do not believe, and Bill maybe you have a thought on this from yesterday, I don't believe you'll have any trouble coming up with those four? Would you agree with that? >> I would totally agree with that. So by the time we're done, some of you may already have some of those ideas based on what we're studying. We'll take two breaks this morning and our first break will be in about 40 minutes from now, maybe a little longer. And we'll take another short break around 11 o'clock, okay? Your questions and comments are welcome throughout, please stop the meeting, it won't take it off track. If you think it it's probably on somebody else's mind so please ask it, okay? So with that, Dominic and Louise and- I guess we're down here, right? Dominic and Luis, and we'll hear from Allan. We'll work with these three first. Dominic kick it off for me. What's your biggest time management challenge these days? >> Not really finding time for myself health wise. >> Health? Finding time for myself. Interesting way to put that, finding time. It's as though it's hidden somewhere, I'm gonna come back to you in a moment. Elaborate though if you will, just a little bit. What in particular are you wanting to do more of or don't have the time to do. Focus primarily on, when I say health, eating better, exercise, and getting enough sleep. >> Okay, is the assumption then that you're not eating well, not exercising enough, and not sleeping well? >> I'm doing better but, yeah, that's it. >> Okay. >> I've elevated it in my priority list. Okay, okay, now one more question and I'll come back to you, how long has this been going on? >> 20 years. >> Okay. >> [LAUGH] >> Today's the day, at least from my perspective, we make a major dent in that, okay? Come back to you. Louise, what's your biggest time management challenge these days? >> It's the interruptions and trying to get my own work done. >> Okay. >> Whether it's emails or- >> I'm sorry. >> Whether it's emails or staff. >> When I asked earlier Louise, what's the current state of the written policy and procedure related to interruptions, did you say we have on that's really followed by all? >> [LAUGH] >> Obviously not. >> Okay, have you ever had something like that? >> Not that I'm aware of. >> Okay, I'm gonna come back to you. But what I'd like for you to be thinking about this morning as a priority take away is how to word that policy statement, okay? Now I use the word policy intentionally. Policy to a great extent is synonymous with the word rule or even law, and rules and laws are what? >> Made to be broken. >> [LAUGH] >> We're not off to a good start here. >> [LAUGH] >> Non negotiables are what I'd like you to be thinking about. Therefore, if you are not comfortable with policies as rules and laws, then we need to soften a little bit, but I want you to do that carefully. You can use principles, or philosophies, or guidelines, different words, a little softer. Whenever any of you want to change anything culturally, organizationally, you have the choice of two words when you make those changes. When you put into effect those policies or guidelines. The two words are request or require. When we request that people do something or stop doing something, we are essentially making it what? Optional, and I've seen enough CEOs get frustrated because their requests are not followed. But by the very nature of the request, it is negotiable. Therefore, in the form of tough love, I recommend often, based on something Louise just brought up, that you strongly consider making it a non-negotiable policy. Because when you do, interruptions subside, you get your work done. People get home at a reasonable hour, deadlines and due dates are met, on time delivery is better, stresses reduced, communications and listening is better as a result, work flow is more constant, etc., etc. So when you put into effect a policy like that, you're actually doing a service for everybody. Most of all you. Come back to you, I'd like for you to think about the wording of that policy. I'll help you with it in just a moment, okay? Alan, what's your biggest time management challenge? >> Being proactive instead of reactive, like acting like a firefighter most of the time. >> Did you ever meet a fire fighter? >> Yeah. >> I had the opportunity to work with the fire house a long time ago. And I was in awe of how organized they are. When that bell goes off one leg goes in one boot, the other leg goes in the other boot, the straps come up, they go down the pole, they get on the truck, and they're off. It's very, what? Systematic, very procedural, very routine. I think firefighters have gotten a gotten a poor rep, because we call it firefighting. That was just a digression, by the way. What do you mean by the word proactive, Alan? >> Planning out my day instead my day planning me. And so it's reactive all day long instead of figuring out the priorities in advance. >> Plan your work, work your plan, classic concept of organization of time management. Alan, are you a formal daily and weekly planner? >> No. >> What I'd like for you to be thinking about, I'm gonna come back to you, are two things. Number one, what would be the benefits/compelling reasons for you to be a formal, consistent, daily, and weekly planner. What would it provide you in your opinion? And second, I'd like for you to tell me what the best time of the day is to plan out your day in a formal way. In other words, the morning startup, as I like to come back with you on. If you would Truly like to be more proactive and get out of the reactive crisis management mode. You are the CEO of your business, yes? The benefits to be gained in the technique of daily planning I think can be extraordinarily valuable for you. By the way, if you are a CEO in this room, the degree of control, the level of control you should have over your work day and your time should be higher than anybody else in the organization. It's called executive privilege, not to be abused, but to be taken advantage of, [COUGH] we come back to Dominic. Finding the time to eat better, sleep better, exercise more. Dominic do you have a written goal on all of that? >> I do. >> Do you know it off the top of your head? Can you share it with me if you wouldn't mind. If you do mind, you don't have to. >> Yeah, I'd rather not. >> Okay. >> But I can tell you that it involves PT, health coaching and daily exercises. >> Okay, there's an acronym at play here. And many of you might be familiar with the acronym in goal setting, it's the acronym SMART. You've ever had of that Dominic? It's based on this principle or concept that goes like this, it says if at any time you were not making the progress you would like. And you know you're capable of making, it is simply because your goals are not clearly defined. Begs a question, what are the characteristics of a clearly defined goal? Well, the filtering or screening mechanism is, yeah, kind of smart. So let's try this with Dominic, see how he does. Dominic, what is the s for in your opinion? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Anybody? Specific, what does specific mean? Anyone who reads it, anyone who hears it will have no shadow of a doubt what the intention is. It is acutely clear. If you ever saw the movie A Few Good Men it's crystal clear remember that line, crystal. I love that movie. What do you think the M is for? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Who said that? Measurable. What does that mean? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Good, essentially, what's your name again? >> Della. >> Stella? >> Della with a d. >> Della, okay. Essentially Della, it means that it's trackable, it's quantifiable. It is something that you always know, winning or losing, and you always know done or not done because of the way its worded. A clear, measurable statement and the A and the R are similar. And by the way, for those of you who are familiar with the smart terminology in goal setting, I've taken some liberties with it. The R is for realistic, Dominic. And the A is for attainable. Now the recommendation is to ask questions along the way. After you write out a goal, you ask is this specific, and then you move on, is this measurable? But then I recommend you go to the R, realistic, is this realistic, can I do it? Do I have the time, the energy, the motivation? Is some cases, the money, the staffing, to accomplish this goal? Attainable means, is it doable within the target date, due date, deadline, or frequency with which I wanna do it? Therefore, if you think about it, there are no such things as unrealistic goals are only unrealistic target dates. If you can think it, you can do it. Realistic and then attainable, it does mess up the acronym though. SMRAT doesn't have the same effect. Now the T is where I've taken the most liberty with. I would suggest for your thinking the word terrific. No drudgery, so whenever you set a goal, you want something that energizes, not demoralizes you. So what I want you to do first and foremost is go back to that statement and make sure it fits the acronym. That's a key contributing factor to what you want to accomplish. And we're getting back to the finding the time part, so bear with me for a moment. One more thing about goal setting, and that is the recommendation for all group goals, team goals, company goals, I recommend you begin with the words we will. For all individual goals, I recommend you begin with the words, I will. And when you say we will or I will, you can feel your body chemistry react. It's a percolation, it's the feeling of commitment. Because when we add commitment to any goal setting effort, we increase the probability of success. See you can say, my goal is to exercise three to four times per week for at least 30 minutes aerobically per session. Or you could say I will exercise three to four times a week and you could just feel it. So, let's come back to finding the time. What did the obstacles or what is the obstacles to finding the time, Dominic? >> I'm actually on a pretty good track right now, but to take it further, so I've been doing it for about three months and then, [INAUDIBLE] >> Which is taking the time away? >> Well, so now back to spending more time fixing the problems and getting to that plan that I have in place is starting to pull at me again. >> Okay, so here's what I'd like to recommend to you. Maybe you're already doing this, as well. It's called weekly planning, weekly planning. Weekly planning is a day of the week and a time of that day designated to set up your calendar for the coming week. Are you a weekly planner now, Dominic? >> Weekly, daily, monthly, yearly. >> You are? Okay, so that's good. Weekly planning is for example, a Friday afternoon from 3:30 to 4, 4 to 4:40, pick your time. And you are setting up your calendar so that it reflects your priorities. Today if I look at a persons calendar, it's likely to see meetings and appointments and a lot of blank space, looks like there's a lot of time. When you fill up the calendar including personal things, you reduce white space availability and you don't give time away to anyone who wants it without taking care of your own needs first. So you wanna put all this together and if this is as high as a priority as you are implying. Then every week you wanna make sure your calendar reflects, especially the exercise part. As far as the eating is concerned, many busy people wait until they're starving to eat, and participate in what historically has been called wolfing. Anybody know what wolfing is? Yeah, and the visual, if it was a cartoon, is you open and just [LAUGH]. I won't get into the graphic details of that. By the way, I'm guilty of more of that than that. Hopefully that helps. So you wanna just boost your enthusiasm for this, and be very careful and cautious about letting those work-related things pull you away from this very important goal. Because you could find yourself way behind schedule suddenly. >> We have to have balance, right? Because the business can't slip either. >> I would agree with you, except for the one word that may be arguable. I'm not sure if you have to have balance. But I know you really want to have balance. I don't think you'll suffer catastrophically if you don't have it. But that's not the point. Louise, interruptions. If you had a policy, how would it sound? >> I'm not sure. >> Okay. >> Probably start out [INAUDIBLE]. [INAUDIBLE] >> Why do people get nervous? >> [INAUDIBLE]. >> One of the most misunderstood concepts ever written is the open door policy. It's misunderstood because it's been taken so literally. So many people have kept, if they have a door, kept their door open. Non-verbally inviting anybody and everybody to walk in, whenever they want with whatever they want. [NOISE] Got a minute. Please note that the open door policy has nothing to do with the door. It's concept. You can have an open door policy with a closed door. So one of the things I recommend that you do as a result of this morning is communicate, preferably in a meeting, to all appropriate applicable staff, which may be everybody, a new definition of what the open door policy means, or maybe more appropriately what the closed door means. What should the closed door mean? Privacy please, priority project, or task in progress. If it's crucial please come in, if it's urgent please come in, otherwise give me some space. It should not mean I'm angry or upset, it should not mean I'm doing anything immoral, unethical or weird. It should not mean I'm sleeping or shirking responsibility. And you wanna have the confidence of doing that. So that's the concept. The policy statement, let me give you a couple of recommendations, okay? I recommend a simple statement like this, it says, all, not some, memory interruptions are internal. All non critical interruptions are always diagnosed before they're caused. The interruption is the responsibility of the interrupter. You follow me on that, Louise? You said no? >> No >> The interrupter, the person who's interrupting, needs to take responsibility for it. And the recommendation is a three second pause as a procedure, where everybody needs to answer yes to the question, is this really important right now? Louise, are you familiar with the Pareto Rule, P-A-R-E-T-O? Anybody? 80/20 rule, Paul, right? >> Yes. >> The 80/20 rule. Also known as the 80/20 rule. I'm sorry I said that twice. Pareto rule, also known as 80/20 rule. If we apply it to internal interruptions, as much as 80% of the time people interrupt, it did not have to happen at that moment. But because of the unintentional selfishness stuff, there is no thought. It's stimulus response, all requested or required to be diagnosed for interruptions. So that type of statement, I think, can go a long way. And if you can launch something like that in an all hands meeting or applicable staff, and get everybody to say yes, I will support it. And give it four to six weeks to work. Are you a patient, personally? >> [LAUGH] >> Patience and persistence need to apply here, because if you launch this on Monday of next week, and it didn't work on Tuesday, and you said this doesn't work. >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Gotta give it time. Couple of other things to look at. One of those two things is the concept that you can not be interrupted without your permission. People do not interrupt us as much as we allow them to. And sometimes you don't have the choice. Louise, you have four people here this morning. >> Just one. >> Just Paul? >> Frank. >> Frank? Okay. You know, Frank is at his desk, Louise comes to his office. And wants to talk to him. I'm not sure if it's appropriate for Frank to say to Louise, go away, not now. >> He does it all the time. >> [LAUGH] I'm not a promoter of insubordination, Frank. >> [LAUGH] >> But what we want to get to is a culture, whereby if somebody is standing at your desk or door, you wanna trust that they've taken the three seconds to diagnose. And the only reason they're standing there is because it's really important right now. This is culture changing. You can not be interrupted without your permission. Second thing I'd like to point out is that the biggest culprits in your business regarding interruptions might be in this room right now. You may be a constant interrupter, and therefore you are experiencing what's called the law of reciprocity. You are getting what you are giving. Now the contemporary office today is doorless. Maybe you've noticed that. How many of you do not have a door? All of you have a door, good, okay. If the organization is having less and less doors, we need visual aids. I've brought one with me. I found this not too long ago. It's something that can sit on somebody's desk, it's got a light switch on it. And if somebody wants to have their door closed, cuz they need to concentrate and focus, they just hit the switch. So you walk up to somebody's desk, if the light is on, it means, not now please. Trying to get something important done. You can have an orange traffic cone on the desk, you can go to the police station and get crime tape. You can be all kinds of creative. So what we know so far is making sure Dominic does not get back to imbalancing his calendar, he's on the right track. His business is pulling him into some situations, make sure the weekly planning is strong. Set up the calendar with personal things. I believe Louise would be well advised to establish and launch a clearly defined policy and procedure related to internal interruptions. Frank, would you support that? >> Absolutely. >> He didn't just say, yes, he said absolutely. >> He's the worst about being interrupted. He's got much more interruptions than me. >> Okay, you agree with that? >> I don't know that I agree, but think that we both are very challenged by it. >> Okay, I want you to use this meeting as a pivot point, turn it around, okay? >> May I ask something? >> Sure. >> There are some interruptions that are absolutely necessary. >> Uh-huh. >> Right? I'd like to give you a perfect example. I'm a pilot and I take off by the stairs all the place in my plane. I've taken off, and I focused on air traffic control, and I [INAUDIBLE]. I leveled off and said,what's that [INAUDIBLE] >> [LAUGH] >> [INAUDIBLE] I said Mike, next time you see somebody [INAUDIBLE]. >> [LAUGH] >> What you just describe is in that other 20%. >> [LAUGH] >> Category. >> [INAUDIBLE] the feeling that you have to be interrupted, because our work is such that our staff is coming up to ask us difficult questions that I can carry out during the job. And I think I feel that often times that I have got to stop to keep them productive. >> Mm-hm. >> I think that maybe [INAUDIBLE]. Yeah, [INAUDIBLE] >> All right, there's a second policy statement. There's a second policy statement recommendation, it goes like this, all, again not some. >> Questions and problems are required or requested to always be accompanied by proposed answers and solutions. In Covey's chapter and 7 Habits book, Think win-win, he presents interdependency as a concept. It's best of both worlds. There are people who love to solve problems and love to answer questions. I used to call this the Mighty Mouse syndrome. For those of you who might remember the name Mighty Mouse. There was a certain catch phrase that used to be said, do you remember that? [INAUDIBLE] >> Here I come to save the day. My wife is a clinical psychologist which makes it a real treat to be me. >> [LAUGH] >> In psychology, this is called rescuing. And if you study it, rescuing is considered, to a great extent, disrespectful. Therefore, as admirable as it is to answer and solve everybody's questions and problems, we are in a way disrespecting their ability to do those things on themselves, and go back to those five words or terms initiative, self-reliance. The hardest part once you put this into a fact and see it work as what do you gonna do with all the extra time you had? It's a nice problem. Ellen talks about being more proactive, less reactive. I asked Ellen to think about two things. Number 1, what's the compelling reason or benefit to doing that? And you say, >> Better problem-solving for tasks, I think. >> What would the benefit be to you? If you were more proactive- >> In the way things get done. >> Everybody hear that? Not just more things would get done, but the most important things would get done. Is that a good thing? I also ask you about formal planning. If you were a formal planner, what time in the morning would you want to take about 15 minutes to get ready for the day? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> So personally in the morning I pretty much know what my strategy is for the day, it's just not formed. >> Okay, that's where I want to take you, take it for what it's worth. If you can put it in writing during the first 15 minutes of your day in a list, whether the top three things, you wanna do. I recommend for everybody, that you identify the top three priorities of your day. During the first 15 minutes of your day. And if these things are being formulate throughout the evening as you say. It's as simple as picking where you wanna put those things, and making the commitment. >> And then I'd like for you to consider if you're not already doing this, having each of your direct reports do exactly the same thing. How many direct reports do you have? >> Eight. >> Eight plus Alan is nine. What if each of them came in in the morning and identified the top three specific tangible objectives for the day. Put them in writing. And what if there was a tracking mechanism put into effect that asked basically, how many of the three did everybody accomplish? And what if everybody accomplishes our top three everyday? >> Well, if my math is correct, that's 135 priorities collectively per week. That's over 500 per month, over 6,000 per year. Powerful metric just by taking 15 minutes to identify the top three in committing to getting those things done. Those are not only proactive, but they are also preventive. People take more responsibility, but it starts with you. If you were surrounded by a Secret Service team, you're code name would be Domino One. Because as you go, so goes the organization. So this is habit change starting with a paradigm shift. Trying to be all things to all people is considered a formula for mediocrity. How many of you, show of hands, have a goal to be mediocre in what you do? A little facetious there. However we may be behaving, working, practicing behaviors that cause more average and excellent work. Let me hear from Mark, Jerry and Joe. Marks what's you biggest time management challenge? >> Well, [INAUDIBLE] Domino's, but I recently found a solution for that. >> Which was to get injured to get into therapy- >> [LAUGH] >> So, that's kinda forced me in the [INAUDIBLE]. But, then again, it did take three, I mean I got injured three years ago, so it took three years to get that [INAUDIBLE]. But, so since I don't wanna take his idea, I came up with another one. And it's something that I've actually been working on You know and with some of the leadership in our company. Which kinda goes in the place around the distraction and interruptions. But more specifically, reducing the amount of back and forth communication on different projects. Meaning, I'm trying to work with them, the leadership team, to come to me more with exact specifics. All the details wrapped into one communication by this e-mail. Or meaning with their suggestions as well and not waiting on me to respond in every step along the way. >> So that's for something specific that I've been working on with them. As far as to not be so bold in wasting my time on [INAUDIBLE] >> How did this start? Did you have an epiphany one day? Did you get the idea from somebody else? How did it start? >> I think it just been just kind of a combination. Discussing things and just schedule, company growth and personal business meetings. >> Okay, on this one thing, when did you put it into practice? >> I want to say it's been a progression. But specifically I re-establish that back [INAUDIBLE]. >> Third question, did you make it a formal proclamation or directive? >> I did. >> Put in writing and all? >> I did. >> Okay. And I guess last question for now, how's it working? >> Okay. >> Okay, so what's your biggest time management challenge if it's working? >> [INAUDIBLE] Allowing myself more time to do more of the physical therapy [INAUDIBLE] >> Okay, allowing was the key word there. What's the obstacle to that? >> Well, it's been a time, you know, it's a time because I'm very focused on growing the company. And growing our real estate assets. So, it's managing those two things. As well as managing, family time, and personal time. So it's just making the time, it's forcing me to commit to it. >> Okay, all right, I want to come back to you and ask. How much time do you currently have? And how much time would you like to have every day? To be unavailable, inaccessible, and unavailable to work on predetermined priorities every day. I want you to just share some of that with me. Jerry, what's your biggest time management challenge? >> It was tough picking one of these but I think I'm gonna go with the effectiveness and efficiency of grouping. >> Okay, the effectiveness and efficiency of group meetings. Why do you say that? In a group. >> And we try to do them weekly, normally do. We come and gone with the formality of them. We don't have a lot of formal meetings so we tried agenda. It seemed to work for a while and go by the wayside. >> Why? >> Since I'm the only one that's done the agendas I may just not do it. Or not really know what to have on the agenda. >> When you do have the agenda or when you did consistently. Did you noitce anything different about the meetings? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Okay so let's freeze for a moment on that point. [LAUGH] Cuz I think it's a significant one to the effect that it's an inefficiency of meanings. There is an author by the name of Patrick Lencioni, that's how he pronounce his name, Lencioni, out of Orange County, California. He writes parables, perhaps you're familiar with them. Five Temptations of the CEO, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. And he wrote a book a while back entitled Death by Meeting. It's a story of an executive team that meets every week for hours, and gets nothing done. They simply kill time hence the title Death by Meeting. And there's a point in the book where another company comes in acquires their company. The new owners and new leaders come in. Take a look at the inefficiency of this executive team ways and put some on notice. Either you transform and change this or we gonna let you go. And goes on, and gets very practical. Very good techniques on how to organizingly run meetings. The amount of time that can be wasted, means in many cases, extraordinary. I'm an advocate of a standard protocol for all meetings within your business. What does that mean? It means that everybody who runs a meeting does it the same way. Because what we're trying to establish here is a communications rhythm. And if I go to a meeting at eight o'clock that Alan runs, then I go to another one at ten o'clock that Lauren runs. Then I go to a two o'clock one that Mark runs and they all run it differently, I'm out of rhythm. Conversely if they are all run the same way there's a certain cadence to the communications. What goes into the protocol, well it's a customized list. But I offer some of the following suggestions. Number one is the policy of about agendas. I believe that agendas, for the most part depending on a meeting with some exceptions. Should be requirement not an option. No agenda, no meeting is the stance I would take. An agenda is recommended to be composed in a standard template at every meeting leader uses. So there should be a form, in my opinion, everybody just fills out. Form could be in a form of questions. What's the purpose of this meeting? When will it be held? Where will it be held? Who will attend? What are the discussion points? What's the order? Etc. So if we have a meeting schedule for next Tuesday and I'm the meeting leader. First thing I need to do is fill out the template and distribute it in advance. Whether it's five o'clock the night before or so forth, that type of thing. Protocol point that all meetings are highly recommended to start and stop on time. Never wait for late comers, it is considered rude and disrespectful to those who are there. Some of whom jumped through hoops to get there, think we've all been there. Stop on time, never assume that that people have an extra 15 or 30 minutes to speakers who are not done. That's also disrespectful and people stop listening at the point the meeting was supposed to end. Active participation, no silence in meetings. Anyone who sits silently is either not necessary to be there, extremely shy. Or exhibiting passive aggressiveness with their silence. All three of those in my opinion are unacceptable. Excellent note taking, so there's a continuity to the information. I recommend a designated note taker for meetings. All of you I'm presuming have some kind of set up in your meeting rooms. Like I'm using today where you've got a screen. Why not give somebody a laptop, put the notes on the screen. While everybody else engages one person is typing and you see the notes. We're a very visual world. Those notes can be emailed to everybody before you get back to your office. And the last part of the protocol is the recommendation of the meeting wrap-up. A meeting that goes right to the end and everybody disburses, might not be the most effective way to end it. Take the last 5 to 15 minutes and ask three questions. Okay, what did we agree will be done? Who will be accountable? And most importantly, when will it be done? Goes into the official notes. So I rattled those off rather quickly but that's a protocol. And if you put that into effect Jerry, of course you've gotta be exhibit a here, right, you gotta practice. So what I'd like for you to consider doing in the next 30 days is make a new commitment. To especially the weekly meeting with your team and really put together a strong agenda. Start it on time and end it on time. There's one other pointer, there's a concept called Parkinson's law of time management. You ever hear of Parkinson's law? It says activities and conversations expand to fill the time allocated. I think to the great extent unfortunately we default to 60 minute meetings. Is that meeting scheduled for 60? Parkinson's Law says that if you convert that 60 minute meeting into 45 with a good agenda, with a hard start and stop, you will accomplish in 45 what you're now taking 60 to do. How many people attend that meeting? >> Seven. >> Seven people in that meeting, 15 minutes of freed up time is 105 minutes freed up. Collectively, times two, because it's the opportunity cost. Those same seven people sitting for an extra 15 minutes are taking that 15 minutes away from something else they could be doing, whatever it is. >> So that's the amount of time savings we experience when we shorten our meetings where appropriate. You might wanna consider shortening it to 45 instead of 60. And one last point, when you meet with your team in a conference room, are there clocks? Clock in every conference room, in fact I recommend three clocks [LAUGH], one on each wall. At least three out of the four walls, because like an excellent football coach, clock management is crucial. And meetings need clock management. Always know where the meeting is in the agenda compared to how much time is left. Without the clock of the visual aid, you can tend to digress and cause more time to be wasted. So let's review and we'll take a short first break. Dominic's weekly planning keeping his fitness and health goal alive and not getting pulled out of that by being pulled to some things that his work needs. And maybe he needs to be careful about what he gets pulled into there. Interruptions, policy, and procedure with Louise and Frank. Allan, more formal planning, daily top three, having your team do that as well. To get more of the important things done in your life. I didn't come back to you did I Mark? We'll do that after the break. And I think I asked you how much time you currently devote per day for privacy versus it affect how much you should. So we'll come back to you when we come back from break. And what I just talked about with Jerry, meetings, meetings, making sure that we're very sensitive and respectful to other people's time, and not just casually approach meetings. No agenda, no meeting is a recommendation in that regard. Bill, how long a break should we take? >> Ten minutes, come back at a little bit after 10:00 [INAUDIBLE]. >> 10:00 and we'll continue. Before we formally get back to time management challenges, I'd like to open up our discussion for any and all questions anybody has related to the topic, anything we've covered so far. Any comments, questions, open forum. >> Just a comment, one of the things I use for the A is agreed-upon. In other words, you can set all the goals you want, you can be as smart as you want. But if your team or the stakeholders haven't bought into it, it's not gonna be realistic. >> Yeah, architectural company in Las Vegas few years ago, put together a goal that was about their culture. They wanted a more effective and efficient culture, we worded the goal. And the strategy was to put together what they called the culture book, a handbook. And architects being on the creative side, it was all kinds of creative pictures and all. But the last page on it, Paul, the very last page, the last line had a question, and then under it two lines, one for a signature and one for the date. And the question said or asked, are you in? Right do you agree, and you had to sign your name, put the date. And that was their effort to make sure it was agreed upon, so that is a good point. [COUGH] Don't work in a vacuum I guess, one of the morals of that story, in isolation. Except if it's a personal goal, if it's only about you it's different. >> But rarely there is anything just [INAUDIBLE]. >> Yeah that's true, for sure. >> There's children, friends, there's almost always some other stakeholder that's. >> Good point, very well put. Questions, comments? Anything related to organization? I had the opportunity once to do a visage meeting in Missouri. And there was a woman in the back whose last name was Beuller. And I finally got the chance to check off something on my consultant bucket list. >> [LAUGH] >> After the break I asked does anybody have any questions, then I went into the anybody, Bueller, [LAUGH], big check mark. She did not laugh. >> [LAUGH] >> I think she heard that before. Okay, we are gonna come back to Mark, then I'm going to hear from Joe and Jerry, then I'm gonna ask our guests to chime in on what their challenges are. >> Mark opens up the door for me to calibrate with all of you the concept of priority work time, it may not be directly related to his challenge, but I thought we might wanna talk about it. The question is how much time per day do you allocate formally and schedule, allocate and schedule formally in your calendar to work on the daily priorities that you've set? And you say? >> An hour? >> Okay, so if I look in your calendar, would I see something designated for that? Keywords are allocate and schedule. Allocate means think how much time you need and conclude. And schedule is the physical putting in of the name of the activity or the appointment. >> Not necessarily but in my task list, you'd see the list of tasks and there's time and date where I do try to perform and do those tasks. >> Okay, I am hopeful once again not Totally optimistic that all of you have a master task list in place. You have someplace that you've designated to list all of the things that are on your proverbial plate every commitment, to-do item, etc., gets downloaded into that task list on a daily basis. I'd also like to be hopeful that everyone of your tasks has a due date. Concept here is that a task without a due date is merely a philosophical statement. Sounds good, but what we wanna know is, when is it due? Some of us need to change the spelling of the word due date from D-U-E to D-O, very subtle point. You have something that is due March 19th, Monday, week from this coming Monday, but maybe you need to do something on a DO, on Friday, March 16th. Well, if it just says March 19th, you might come into work Monday morning and say, shoot, or something like that, I should have done this last Thursday or Friday, subtle point. Having a task list, though, that's chronologically organized preferably allows you to come in, in the morning, and see what's on top of the list, that's where you could select your stop three. There are people today that make a list somewhere, and they overload the list. And they end their day falling short and become somewhat discouraged and abandoned planning with words like this doesn't work, why bother, I never get anything done. Of course, that's not true. It's called the demoralization gap, therefore, I recommend that you make the list. But you prioritize the list mark everyday, and start with the top three, and work in groups of three. That's how I work. But there's a basic disconnection that can occur between the task list and the calendar, so the priority work time technique glues that together. Now, Mark, probably doing very well. He's got his task list, needs about an hour, he probably finds that. But I'd like to take this opportunity and ask all of you to answer five questions. And here we go. Question number one is, how much time would you like every day to be unavailable, inaccessible, and for all intense and purposes, uninterruptible to work on your priorities of the day? Now, the choices are, one hour, one and a half hours, or two hours per day. How much time would you like, one, one and and half, or two hours? Everybody got the number in your mind? Now, you can change it at any point, just work with me today. What's your name? >> Greg. >> Greg? >> Yes, sir. >> Okay, Greg, work with me on this. Greg says two hours, everybody else do the same. Question number two, Greg, would you like the two hours all at once every day or split up into two one-hour components? >> All at once. >> Okay, everybody else do the same. If you said one hour, do it all at once. 90 minutes would be 45, and 45 if you wanna split it, two hours, one and one. Question number three is the most important of the five, and it asks, what specific time do you want to have allocated and scheduled for priority work time as a recurring appointment? Now, please keep in mind, these are place holders, they are not immovable. Greg, what time everyday would you like two hours allocated? >> Probably 12:00 to 2:00. >> Okay, take the probably out, and say it again. >> 12:00 to 2:00. >> Okay, good, sorry about that consultantry. 12 o' clock to 2 o' clock every day, everybody else do the same, what gets scheduled gets done. So what I'm asking Greg to do is to put into his calendar, for every work day with no end date, 12 o' clock to 2 o' clock priority work time, or the letters PWT. That's an appointment with his priorities, which are probably for somebody else. Greg, why won't this work at 12:00 to 2:00? >> My thinking is I get all my employees at lunch, so they're not focused on work, which means they're not calling me. So that gives me [INAUDIBLE] >> Okay, so in your opinion, it probably will work. Is there any reason that comes up why it wouldn't work? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> That's what I was looking for. You have control over this to a great extent, don't you? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Another reason why it won't work is because the items that you put on your list that you want to do during that time are just not urgent, they can be postponed. There's a fine line difference between postponement and procrastination. Postponement, generally, is justified or acceptable. Procrastination may not be, Jerry. >> So your idea is that this priority work time gets done daily. Is that correct? >> That's how it's calibrated, but it needs to be ultimately customized. >> Right, so on a day like today, well, we're here for six to eight hours, and the final two hours at one time was 9:00 to 11:00, the other was I think it was two to four. What would you recommend? >> Well, number one, it ain't gonna happen today [LAUGH]. What I recommend you do is, and this is actually a good question because there are days you're gonna come in, and it just can't work. So option one is what? Move it to another time slot, if you can. So if you can't do it from 12:00 to 2:00, maybe you could do it from 3:00 to 5:00. And the second one is, there are days when you can't just do it at all. What you wanna do is not get upset about that if it's a justified reason, and then tomorrow is another day. You follow me? So there are days that it won't work. >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Question number four. Greg, when would you like to begin? >> PM. >> When would you like to start everyday at 12:00 to 2:00 for priority work time? >> Every day that goes by that I don't is lost time, so I'm big about initiating something and then [INAUDIBLE]. >> I'm with you, but when do you wanna start? >> [LAUGH] >> Tomorrow? >> Tomorrow. >> [LAUGH] >> Who do you work for in here? Do you work for somebody in here? >> No, [INAUDIBLE]. >> Are you in this group? >> Not yet.. >> Okay, sorry about that. Okay, so tomorrow, that's what I was looking for. That's a small point, perhaps, but I'm looking for commitment. I want you to walk out of here today, Greg, knowing that tomorrow from 12:00 to 2:00, you're gonna begin priority work time. And during priority work time, the recommendations are to close your door, if you have one, know what it means. Turn off your notifications if you need to. And do one thing at a time. You must know or maybe know that multitasking is impossible for human beings to do. It's the wrong term. We can't multitask. It's impossible for the brain to do two things, not related, simultaneously. It's called task shifting. There's an old Irish proverb. Greg, are you Irish? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Next week you need to be, I think it's St. Patrick's. >> [LAUGH] >> There's an old Irish proverb that says, the way to do many things is to do one thing at a time. Some of you would be well advised to slow it down a notch and focus better. Question number four, when do you wanna begin? Tomorrow, Friday, next Monday, April 2nd? That's a Monday. I know that cuz my birthday is April 1st. That's also Easter Sunday. Fifth question, when will you schedule it into your calendar as a recurring appointment? Today would be a good idea, or tomorrow. Ready, set, go. Or ready, aim, fire. You launch priority work time for yourself by putting into the calendar one to two hours of privacy every day. And then you get those things done, and those check marks start appearing regularly. And boy, does that feel good to get things done. Getting things done feels really good, also the title of a great book by David Allen, Getting Things Done. Any questions, Greg? Okay, anybody have any questions on it? Mark, what about you, does that help take you to another level at all? >> It helps. >> Okay, this is one more reason I bring this up, especially to the Vistage members in the room. You may not need it as much as your direct reports really need it. People on your management or leadership team really need one to two hours every day of privacy to work on their priorities. And if you do it and get the benefit from it, the ability to cascade it, to leverage it increases. I ask you to really try this for the next three to four weeks and see if it's beneficial for you, okay. >> Would it be beneficial to line it up with your direct reports that everyone did it 12 to 2, where they're all in their silos? >> The answer is yes. However, there are many organizations who just can't do that. If you can, I think there's benefit to it. An engineering company in Nevada, total people in the business, big building, decided that every morning from 7:30 to 9, no meetings could be scheduled and everybody had 90 minutes of priority work time to start their day. The exceptions were if a client requests a redo or things like that, which were not that plentiful in the morning, in this business. So you walk into this building and you could hear the silence. It sounds weird, but you could hear it. And you could watch people just concentrating with no interruptions. But by 9 o'clock, what's your name? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Blake, by 9 o'clock, the productivity, the amount of things done by this group was extraordinary. It's not even 9 o'clock yet. They already got three, four, five things done. So if you can do that, there's a lot of power in it. Any questions on it? Okay, we move to Joe and Jerry, last two of our Vistage members. Then we'll turn it over to some guests. Joe, what's you're biggest time management challenge? >> [INAUDIBLE] When I first started the business, this ready, aim, fire thing was right out the window. It was ready, fire, aim. That's pretty much how it got going. >> That's how start-ups go. >> Yeah, I know, and actually I've been doing what I do longer than you've been doing what you do. And I think I've learned how to manage it. But I've learned over time how to bring the best people in to work on the major, the major projects. And I have the really good team that I delegated to do all this stuff too. So there's not any one thing that I think of. Cuz, like, [INAUDIBLE] talk about time or exercise. I mean, I get up early in the morning and don't do it. So it does need [INAUDIBLE]. But I think I've learned how to put all the major projects, bring in the top people, do all the planning for it. I do take time off all the time to think. And probably the only thing is when you think about something so long, it's when you wake up at 2 o'clock in the morning and you're still kind of running through your brain trying to solve it. So there's no one thing I can think of. >> Okay, all right, we'll skip ya. If you think of something, let me know. All right, how about you, Jerry? >> We got the chance to talk some at dinner last night. As I think about this, this is the way we both talked. Part of it is, The question I'd even ask, on a day like today or on other days when you have a leadership meeting, how do I find that time? I'm probably living in Dublin three days a week versus five. Because I usually end up in some full day meetings. One of the lacks of discipline that I have with that is that sometimes I'll end up in a car for 30 or 45 minutes, or an hour or two to a location. I find that I'm not necessarily wasting the time, but I'm letting phone conversations go on for longer and longer. Which then becomes a habit when I have one-to-one meetings. And I let those go over those times. So we talked last night with Jerry about shortening my 15 minutes, some of those things. Wrapping up five minutes before, I did a little thinking about that. I shared that with my wife last night. But I still think the rigidness of days like today and other days throughout the week where, although it is my time, some of the other things I still feel like, even as I'm looking out, even into next week, I'm finding those walks that I've already put in there. So I'm not saying I'm perfect, but it's a balance between being rigid and not being rigid at the same time. >> Jerry brings up a few things here about going over time, for one. Meetings can become a runaway train, if you think about it. You come into a meeting. You've allocated, let's say an hour for it. And you even think In your own mind that we won't need it now, or you may even say that to people. And at the 45 minute mark you're not even close to being done. So the recommendation for meetings is to always point out how much time we have or what time we need to leave. If you have a one-to-one meeting or a group meeting, you basically go over at the front end how much time you have and what time we need to end. It's an up-front agreement that gives you more confidence and even permission to start wrapping it up. The second thing is to actually say to a person, now our time is up or a group, our time is up, where appropriate. Gotta be careful here. If you're in a meeting with somebody and you need to stop, you go back to the up-front agreement. It's appropriate in your own words to say, we need to start wrapping up or I need to go or something like that. But if you don't say it up-front, then there's some sheepishness and tentativeness about doing that. Clock watching as I mentioned before, to reiterate that for you Jerry, is important okay. And the other thing that you mentioned. You just have to go with the flow of days that you can't get it done. You can't get discouraged about that if you just can't make it happen. And this is where weekly planning comes in. What I didn't mention earlier about priority work time is that even though you have the place holders, finalizing it on a Friday afternoon or first thing, Monday morning before the week kicks in is a good idea. For example, if you have it set like Greg does everyday from 12 to 2, well maybe on tomorrow, when you sit down, you see that on Tuesday, 12 to 2 won't work but you can do it from 3 to 5. So you move it tomorrow rather that wait until Tuesday and you set it up. Jerry sits down tomorrow, hypothetically, and sees that next Wednesday no way he could do it. So he right clicks and deletes it just for that single instance. It's a proactive, to use Allen's term, a proactive way of managing your calendar. It's better to be proactively clear that it's not going to work, than to be reactively discouraged that it didn't work, if that makes any sense. Cutting off conversations, ending meetings may be difficult for some. It's at what cost though? And it's where the calendar needs to run your day. As a business planning facilitator, as I mentioned earlier, one of my concepts says that the business plan should run your business. You and your people, your leadership team, should run your business plan. It's the game plan of the year. Similarly, your daily planning your calendar should run your work day. I'm constantly checking my calendar, it tells me what time to leave so I get to places on time. I hate to be late. It's a genetic trait, my father was a tyrant about it. My father had certain philosophies and values that were totally unrealistic. I had a choice 41 years ago to go into years and years of therapy or start a business, taking this genetic trait or disorder, making a full time career out of it. So I did both. Therapy is working quite well, and as you know I married a psychologist, so. It's a calendar that has a voice, it's your voice. And if you don't set it up, you got all this white space. I have a sad vision in my mind of people in your position, the division is you sit at your desk about 5 or 5:30, looking out the window and watching everybody driving home. And you're just about to start your work. Because the calendar was not organized well, and you got constantly interrupted, and taken away all day long. Go easy on yourself, but plan in advance whether you can or can't do it. Let's go around the room for our guests. And I need to refresh my memory on your names for some of you. Let's talk about you two folks. >> Don. >> Don? >> Yes. >> And who's that? Jessica? Okay, Don, who do you work with? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Jessica you as well, okay? What's your biggest time management challenge? >> Protecting my time. >> What do you mean by that? >> Well, it's a lot of what Jerry just talked about. And so I do proactively plan when I'm going to do my work. And then things come up that aren't necessarily in my control. So ultimately I'm agreeing to it, so it's in my control in that sense, I get that. But if you've got a client that is demanding or dictating that you're gonna be at something, that overrides. So for me, I got to get better at protecting that or finding where to shift it. But I'm running out of places to shift it. >> What about in hindsight, are you often times regretting deviating from what you were about to do, or? >> Always, cuz usually they're not managing what we're doing. So I can manage them to a degree but ultimately that's somewhat out of my control >> Do you oftentimes find yourself saying yes and then stopping what you're doing and getting right on it? Or are you a bit good at negotiating when you can take care of it? >> Sometimes both. >> Okay, if you're working on something, I recommend that you personalize the project or the task. In other words, let's say you're working on something for client A. Client B contacts you and wants you to do something. And you get put in that position where you feel compelled to take care of Client B. If Client A were sitting though at your desk, would you have even looked at the email, answered the phone? The answer might be no. So sometimes personalizing what you are working on helps you negotiate better. If any of you are drawing the conclusion that you have to say yes and jump on things all of the time, that may not be the best approach. I'm not saying you do that as well. Protecting your time is a matter of pausing and asking, let me give you an abbreviation for this. And Don, see if you could tell me what this abbreviation means WTRTTDD. Any ideas? Lisa. >> What's the right thing to do? >> What's the right thing to do. >> [LAUGH] >> You win the prize. What's the right thing to do? And sometimes it's important to change the D to the letter S, which means what, Lisa? >> Say. >> What's the right thing to say? The key word in the abbreviation is, right. Non-emotional, non-assertive people may have difficulty saying no. But the right thing to say is not now, instead of no. Gee, I'd love to, I'm working on a deadline. Can I get back to you tomorrow morning by 9 o'clock? That's negotiation. You might want to take a post-it and put the abbreviation on it just as a screening mechanism. That's how you protect your time. You make logical decisions instead of emotional ones. What's the right thing for your position to do? We call it a management role, a leadership role. Don, where do we hear the word role mostly? What profession? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> [LAUGH] >> Acting sounds pretty good. >> Acting, okay? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> So when we're working, we're in a role and we're acting the part, there is a script. The script is a goals program or a job description or both. One of the recommendations I have as technique that hasn't come up yet is something I invented, sort of, over 30 years ago. I call it a success description. A success description is a document of expectations for a position. It's a one page business plan for a position that clarifies the goals, strategy, and metrics for success. And a success description can really change the complexion of everything that you do. It takes a lot of the emotion out of decision-making and puts the logic in. And success descriptions align with business plans, really solidify a more effective and efficient team. So protecting your time is based on what you predetermined to spend time on, and the sense of urgency that that Unexpected thing that came up has compared to what you were working on. And that's that, once again that pause, what's the right to do? What's the right thing to say? Some thoughts on that? Jessica, what's your biggest time management challenge? >> I would say the interruptions. >> Okay- >> I make a list at the beginning of the week of okay these are my priorities. But then somebody will come to your door and you just don't want to tell them, hey can you come back. And it's like well, it should only take five minutes, and I'll talk to them and it'll end up taking 30 minutes. But at that point you're in it, so it's- >> What have you learned so far his morning, or what have you concluded on so far? >> Probably closing the door. In my opinion, I handle accounting and HR, if I close my door, somebody's gonna think something bad is happening. But making that known, no it's just I'm having quiet time in here, that's all. >> In your opinion, is that okay with Dominic? >> I think so. >> Just asking. >> [LAUGH] >> We have the luxury of having him two seats away. Dominic, what do you think of what Lisa just said? >> Jessica? >> I'm sorry, Jessica, that's Lisa. >> Yeah, I don't have a problem with it all. >> Okay, now Jessica, before you go back to the office this afternoon or tomorrow and start closing your door and you haven't done that since 2012. It's important not to disrupt people by just acting differently in a certain way. In the ready, aim, fire, ready, set, go approach, it's important to tell people what you learned or heard and what you're going to try. So you kind of ease into it, all right. So as you look forward, if you were to start closing your door more, start saying not now more, how does that feel right now? >> I don't like it just because our culture is open door policy and we let employees or team members to come and talk, so yeah, that's a little hard. >> Okay, similar to what I asked Allan earlier, let's get away from the process of closing the door and let's look at the benefits. What is the biggest benefit or two that you would experience if you started this practice? >> Being able to check the box on a task, actually starting and finishing it. Not having to get interrupted five different times and then come back to it. >> Now many of you can't see Jessica's facial expression right now. But when she said how, I'll paraphrase, how stressful this will be to do cuz we have an open door policy, she had a very distressed look in her facial expression. When I just asked her about the benefits of checking those boxes, her face lit up. And what does that tell us? It's the right thing to do, but it's not gonna feel good. Did you know, Jessica, that as much as 95% of what you and I do every single day is habitual? It requires no conscious thought whatsoever, very routine can be depressing too. So any change you make, Is rejected and resisted so heavily, so you gotta give it time. Are you a patient person? I asked- >> No. >> You're not, okay, all right. So if you're gonna start this practice, well let me ask you, is it tomorrow or Monday? >> How about tomorrows group? >> Okay, I recommend Monday, and I'll tell you why before we're done. >> [LAUGH] >> I recommend Monday, too. >> [LAUGH] >> The impatience in Jessica obviously is speaking at this moment. I'd like for you on tomorrow or Monday to took at the calendar and go out six weeks. So Monday is the 12th of March, so six weeks is about April 30th, I think. I'd like for you to put April 30th as the red letter day as to when this should be judged as whether it's working or not. I'd like for you to give it six weeks, especially for the impatience in you. Let it incubate, let it progress, let it matriculate, all those words. And let's establish a new best practice over the course of the next six weeks, not the next six hours or six days. Reason I said Monday, let me fill you in on that. I'd like for you tomorrow or Monday morning to bring your team together. How many people we talking about? >> It's about two I guess. >> Two, bring them together, I think they know you're here today. Yes? I'd like for you to brief them on what you heard, what you learned, what you wanna do, and ask them how they feel about it and get their support. Might invite Dominic to that meeting as well, maybe Don can attend. And once you have their support, then I want you to do it. Because if you go back to your office and start closing your door, people are gonna wonder what's going on in there and it can backfire, okay. I think you know what I'm talking about. Go patiently, progressively. >> [INAUDIBLE] which was nothing bad. >> [LAUGH] >> I thought we could get those done afterwards? >> [CROSSTALK] >> [INAUDIBLE], you think? >> Very good. >> I have a question though. So I hear a couple of people talking about the open door policy, and whatnot. And I know, I understand and I agree does not mean the door has to be opened. But I know Google calendar you can have a feature where you can actually have time slots available, 15 minute slots that people can actually log in and book certain times that you have allocated as flexible meeting times. >> Yeah. >> What is your opinion on that? >> I like it as long as there's clarity as to how that works and there's support for it and nobody violates it. So you gotta tell people. When I asked you, I think it was you I asked, do you have a directive on that? Was it you I asked? Okay, well I think there's being dictatorial, there's being autocratic, and there's being directive. There's also being democratic and collaborative. Democratic and collaborative sounds really good but in certain cases it's not because you have too many opinions and it takes longer to change an environment or a system. So as a CEO, I recommend you be very directive without being dictatorial. And put in writing, I think I did ask you, put in writing what you wanna do, get their support, and tell the people how Google calendar works for these 15 minutes systems. As long as you tell people up front what you want them to do and how it works and ask them to support it, it can work very well. Some people ask me about do you have office hours. Is that a good thing, where certain times of the day you don't schedule anything, that's the time when people can interrupt you with whatever they want. That's a good idea for some people. Then there's the classic technique put forth in the book, In Search of Excellence, from the 1980s. You familiar with that book? You familiar with the book, Good to Great? Okay, well in the 1980s, Tom Peters and Robert Waterman wrote one of the best-selling books of all time, In Search of Excellence. And they introduced an abbreviation, it was called MBWA. It stands for Management by Wandering Around, hopefully not aimlessly. And they suggest in this book that leaders and managers spend 70% of their time circulating. Get out of your office, get out of you desk, and be visible. Well 70% is a little much, these days for sure. But some people need to do more management rounds, it's called. So you take maybe three, 15 minutes components today. And you circulate the office, not to interrupt but to be visible. Those are times when people could say, hey Mark, can I ask you this question? Or I wanna give you an update on this or whatever, but they are not coming to your office to interrupt you. Things like that can work if they are calibrated well, if they're directed well and if you get the support. Once you violate it, the integrity suffers. Frank, what's your biggest time management challenge? >> I think I have difficulty identifying what I really need to address versus what I can assign or delegate to others to deal with. >> Are you not delegating enough? >> I think I'm a pleaser personality type and I don't even take the time to make the consideration often times. I just jump to the conclusion, here's the answer or let me help you find that or let's look at it together. >> So you may be one of those people where the double lines formed outside your office this morning, right? What's your title? >> I'm a auto partner in our firm. >> Okay, let's talk about delegation a little bit, some fundamental techniques of that. A successful leader can be defined many ways. My favorite definition is that a successful leader is someone that continually accomplishes pre-determined priorities, primarily through the efforts of other people. In a word, delegation. Sounds simple doesn't it? Frank, what personality types besides pleasers have the most difficult time delegating? >> [INAUDIBLE]. >> What'd you say, Louise? >> A control freak. >> The control freak, there's a good one. Who else? Any perfectionists in the room? I'm a recovering perfectionist. Perfectionists have a motto Frank or credo, what is it? >> If you want it done right. >> If you wanna done it right, do it yourself. Kind of inconsistent with that definition I just gave you, isn't it? The micro-manager has a difficult time delegating but it's so important because it leverages and gets things done without your direct involvement. So a few technical or fundamental points I'd like to point out. Number one, is that a request which is a delegation without specificity as to when you want it back, as one of those other philosophical statements. Therefore by the power vested in me, I hereby direct all of you to virtually eliminate the following expressions from your working vocabulary. You do not need to write these down, they include but are not limited to, as soon as possible. Sometime today, whenever you get around to it, within the next few days. Sometime in the next couple of weeks, within the next few months and my favorite, by Friday. In a word those are meaningless expressions. People will nod their head, but there's a challenge. For example, if I say to you, I need this sometime next week, odds are you might be thinking Friday automatically. What if I want it next Wednesday? Do you see a problem with that? If I say to you I need this by Friday, you might be thinking 5:00 o'clock in your mind. What if I want it at 11:00 o'clock? Do you see a problem with them? Huge gaps. So I assume, you know when I want it. There's a dangerous word. And when you don't get it to me next Wednesday, I stop trusting. Frank, never gives me what I want, I think I'll just do it myself. And we're off on a road of non-delegation. It's so much better, and not that difficult to be specific with when you want it with the right tone. Here's how I write it. Frank ideally, if I can hear back from you, no later than Monday, March 12th by noon, that would be great. The soft tone ideally, that would be great. Comes from the movie, Office Space. But in that message Monday, March 12, noon. See how specific it is? It can be considered a bit manipulative but it's with positive intention. It's not unusual for me to send an email to Frank today, Thursday, and hear back from him by close of business today. I've accelerated the answer because of the clarity. Where everybody else is saying sometime early next week. What works to that effect, I'm saying specifically what I wanted. Avoid using those terms, they're really dangerous in the sense of we don't get things closed. In a more practical sense, I recommend that you schedule time to delegate. There are two opportunities for formal delegation. One is the weekly plan, the other is the daily wrap up. Those are times to ask, what do I need from other people and electronic delegation takes place. There's a construction company I work with in Arizona. We've instituted an interesting idea that's really working well. There are six members of the executive team of this rather large construction company. And they all have some degree, difficulty with delegating. So we came up with the idea of putting the organizational chart of all of their direct reports on the wall. But in addition to the names and the titles of these people, there's also a headshot of all of them. And they're all smiling. We took pictures. So now at the end of each stage, executive looks at the wall and sees all these smiling faces who are saying nonverbally, how can I help you? What do you need from me? And each of the executives, now everyday, it takes a few minutes and sends out one to five things for delegation. If you think six direct reports, you send out two per, those are 12 things you leverage and you're not even in your car yet driving home, with specificity. Final point about delegation for now is that, when you send electronic request, which is the contemporary way to do it, and this comes under e-mail etiquette and guidelines as well. It is essential in my opinion, to proofread before you send any e-mail. Proofreading is so important because what we're asking is, whether this message, this request is clear to the individual regarding what I want and when I want it. Because the answer is no. Correct me if I'm wrong but it's not ready to go. That's a shipment leaving the warehouse incomplete and it's gonna come back. If you're using auto correct on any device, you really need to proofread, don't you agree? Proofreading. So Frank, in that whole scenario, what I'd like for you to do is strongly consider making delegation a priority. And allocating the time to ask what do I need from other people. And as far as the pleasing it goes, I can give you my wife's card if you want. >> [LAUGH] >> Just kidding, but that's something that may not serve you in a leadership role. It's nice as a personality trait, but it may not serve you in your current role. >> [INAUDIBLE] >> It could be time to do that. How about you, Paul, what's your biggest time management challenge? >> My role in the organization very much responsible for medium, long-term goals, objectives and aligning priorities with the other executives. So I kinda work between the CEO and [INAUDIBLE]. So I think my biggest time management is I live in the world of important but not urgent. On any given day, there's nothing I have to do today. My next objective is to [INAUDIBLE]. So it's trying to break that level down into, what do I do this morning? What do I do this afternoon? >> Are you a formal planner every day? To get redundant a little bit. >> I guess I'm part of the strategic planning and organization development. >> I'm talking about you personally. Do you plan your days as effectively as you need to? >> I schedule all my workouts in advance [INAUDIBLE] >> Okay, so based on what we've been discussing this morning, what are you thinking about regarding any changes to be made in your world, anything come to mind yet? >> I have to figure out how to translate goals and objectives into tasks. Not tasks. I don't have tasks. >> Okay, one the important analogies there is the project management. Cuz a goal once finalized becomes a project to be managed. When a project has agreed to the very first protocol step is recommended to be the project plan. So,you say yes to a project, which by its very nature is a non-routine desired end result that typically requires several or many tasks, hours and their people to accomplish. So getting all that organized into a plan is a very important first step in project management. Therefore, it's the same application to goal setting. Once you establish a goal, lay out a goal planning sheet is what I call it, GPS for the abbreviation cuz it's very directional. And from the goal planning sheet, you finalize your strategy step by step. And then all of those steps get incorporated into your task list, so that you are working on the whirlwind and the urgencies and priorities of the day while you're simultaneously incorporating the strategies from your goals into that. If you'd like a template of a goal planning sheet on the bottom of the handout I gave you, just send me and email and I'll give you a sample of one that might be helpful for you. How about you, Blake? What's your biggest time management challenge? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Do you work together? >> No, different companies. But a subdivision doesn't just come together. There's lots of little tasks. None of them are overly urgent, like on a daily basis. But in two months, I need to have environmentals and [INAUDIBLE] surrounding stuff. So [INAUDIBLE] really valuable for me. So [INAUDIBLE]. >> So when I went over PWT earlier, you said what? How much time per day? >> An hour [INAUDIBLE] 2:30. Start it probably tomorrow [INAUDIBLE]. I was gonna start it today [INAUDIBLE] >> Okay. >> Tomorrow at 2:30. >> Excellent. >> I'm probably interested in correlation. Listen today and late last year I started running every Tuesday and Thursday and I run at 6. So I'm in the office by 7:30. And just listening from 7:30 to 9, I get a bunch done. And then 9 o'clock happens, the office is full, and all the sudden my productivity goes way down. >> And you're very efficient in the shower if you get to work by 7, okay? [LAUGH] >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Okay, I'm just visualizing that cuz if I went running like I used to years ago at 6 o'clock, there's no way I'd [LAUGH] be in the office by then. [LAUGH] Just kidding. So I like that. Do you keep a master task list for yourself? >> I do an outlook. >> Okay. >> [INAUDIBLE] master task list but [INAUDIBLE] >> Okay, that's what I'm talking about. If you can start to do more of the project planning, the longer term tasking and incorporate that into that action list, I think those things will be on the radar screen sooner. And you see you have a better glimpse of those. Lauren, what's your biggest time management challenge? >> Well, I love planning, organizing, setting goals, expectations, all of that stuff. However, doing so many tasks, I've lost the mindfullness of enjoying the journey. So that's what I'm trying to do is [INAUDIBLE] >> Mindfulness is a popular word these days. Mindfulness is being in the moment, it's relishing precious moments in your life. You can become so task oriented, that before you know it, it's 10 o'clock at night and all you've done is churned out things being very productive. Admirable, at what cost? One of the things that I see a lot of people do is overload their expectations for the day or the week. I'm guilty of that to a certain extent, cuz I love to achieve, as I think you do. The question is what's realistic for you. And sometimes, this will sound maybe to structured, sometimes you have to put in the calendar nothing. [LAUGH] Even the word nothing. Like I'll put in my calendar my initials and I'll say underneath it. Do not schedule. I'll put in there just time to make sure that it's set for just whatever I wanna do, relax or whatever. >> What do you do during that time? >> Whatever- >> [LAUGH] >> Well, that's the problem, you see? The paradigm is I've gotta have something to do. And it's letting yourself be. Now, it sounds almost weird, but sometimes you just have to take a break from it all. That's what vacations are. The word vacation comes from the two words, vacate and action. Put them together, you get vacation. Therefore, to some degree, there's no such thing as a working vacation. It's an inconsistency in terms. But in our 24/7 world, that's not quite the reality of it. So I think weekly planning is your best tool here. Set up your calendar for the week and see if there are pockets of time when from to 1:30 two days a week or one day a week you just don't do anything. You take a walk, go down to the lake or something, things like that. And you can't be too structured, I guess, is what I'm implying here. Lisa, what's your biggest time management challenge? >> Well, I could Identify with all of these. But I think we haven't had time to sit down and work on the business plan. [INAUDIBLE] we just run. And it's like, the goal is 30 to 60 patients a month. How are we gonna get that done? And where are we on that, getting that done this month? We don't even hardly look back. We're just like always shooting forward. So sitting down and actually planning with me, I get it. >> Okay, Lisa talks about her business plan. We're constantly running. Is there a business plan in place now? Not really. And you are one of the owners? >> Yes. >> Okay, have you ever had a business plan? >> We had one initially when we opened, and it's like not what we actually do. Because we didn't really know because we've never done this before, so. >> Is the business successful? >> Yes. >> There's the problem. >> [LAUGH] >> You shut him down. >> One of the worst concepts ever written, in my opinion, is one that says if it's not broken, don't fix it. What if you want to make it better? >> Absolutely, we do. >> If you think about it, people who are in the Vistage group are here for one primary reason, that may not be spoken, and that's for growth. Vistage almost forces their members to grow. Grow their companies and businesses, grow their people, and of course grow themselves. Growth, Lisa, is not a requirement. Survival's a requirement. A business will find itself in one of five performance positions, all the time. It's either failing, struggling, surviving, succeeding, or growing. The motivation to survive is always higher than the motivation to grow. What you're talking about is the potential for high degrees of growth. That can be accomplished by a well-written, well-organized and regularly managed business plan. So what I'd ask you to do is to take that message back to the others who lead the business. Are they here? >> She's right here. >> The two of you? Yeah. >> So would you agree, Della, that- >> Yes. >> What did Lisa say? >> I think that we do all of those things that you're talking about every week. And certainly we're growing, we're surviving. I mean, it's difficult, and I think the thing that's most difficult for us is that we go forward. And then there's a bomb that goes off. And we're not working on it anymore, we're working back in it to make it go >> Della talked about the bomb going off and it kinda causes things to take a different direction. Or words to that effect. What you need to focus on there in my opinion is to shorten getting back on track in the growth mode. And that's what the monthly review, this is once you developed a business plan, I'll show you a model before we're done but a simple model. Is to really commit to the monthly business plan review, and answer those four questions that I'll also show you before we're done. If you could just follow that for 90 minutes a month, the business plan stays alive. And you accomplish so much more in the course of a year. Another funeral home business I worked with years ago, the master plan from the business plan itself total about 190 some odd action items for the year. At the end of the year we counted up how many of those 193 total action items this company wanted to do for that fiscal year were done. The number was about 185 of the 193. It was a remarkably high statistic. My question to them before the meeting was to figure out how many of those 185 would have been done without the monthly reviews. I don't remember the number, but it was significantly lower. You get more done in less time you work smart and not harder when you manage formally what you expect to happen. Greg, finish it up for me. Biggest time management challenge, anything to add? >> [INAUDIBLE] yesterday when [INAUDIBLE]. >> Let me ask you this question about interruptions Greg, are you a chronic interrupter of other people? >> Yeah. >> Do you need to say not now more. Okay, the one word nobody really likes to use, and the one word nobody really likes to hear is the word no. Therefore I recommend not to use that word. You can say no with using a different expression like not now. I'd love to take care of that. However, not now because I have to do this. That's where your business plan and your daily plan become the voice. Take your eyes off the person. Look at the plan. Look at your calendar. Even if you have nothing on it Look, [LAUGH] but it's depersonalized, so you don't feel like you have to say no to a person. Say not now, I think the key to what you just brought up, Greg is probably the 12 to 2 priority work time to get your work done. Okay, it's time for our second break. This is short one, if we can. Bill how long? I'll be back 11:05. >> 11:05, please come back. Okay, what we wanna find out next and then get into a winding down period of time for the next 45 minutes and so. Culminating with the take away is specifically. We want to do the needs assessment. So would all of you take a look at the document one more time? The front side. You see the words needs assessment? What I'd like for you to do is go down this list with me and check as many that apply. If it's a need of yours to become more effectively organized in what you do. So everybody ready? Okay, do you need a more uncluttered office and work area? Is there any clutter in your professional life that needs to be addressed? Is there any clutter in your personal life perhaps that needs to be taken care of? If so, check that box. Do you need a better task management system to keep track of all of the commitments you've made? What about a more consistent personal planning system, both daily and weekly planning? More proactively scheduled time to accomplish your priorities every day. That's the PWT concept. A better method to delegate for improved on-time delivery by others. What I was talking to Frank about. Improved efficiency and effectiveness of group meetings, what Jerry, Ben, and I were chatting about. Every direct report needs at least 15 to 30 minutes of their boss' undivided attention every week. This is something that takes place in a one to one briefing. Do you need, in your opinion, consistently effective and efficient proactively scheduled one to one briefings with direct reports to satisfied that need. A reduction in the number of unjustified interruptions per week. That's a popular topic everywhere I go, certainly this morning as well. What about a better system to organize, manage, and keep up with your emails everyday. Improve calendar management to provide for more balanced work week. Increase clarity of the goal strategies and metrics of all applicable staff, including your position. And finally, a better method to build and regularly manage annual business plan, what I was talking with Lisa and Della about. If you've checked any of those boxes any of those boxes on the bottom, the question is which of the above numbers is your biggest need, right now? Would you place that number in that box and then let's do a quick Comparison. Is there any connection or comparison between your biggest time management challenge and the number you put on the bottom of the page? Oftentimes, the answer is yes. On the reverse side of your document, please circle that same number. And you will see in one sentence, the start to the recommendation for you for the next 30 days. Actually, it's the start or the stop whether you're gonna start doing or stop doing. What I'm going to do next is take you through a slide show of these 12 areas quickly. And we'll elaborate, do a little bit of a deeper dive in some of them. Before we do that, are there any questions at this point about anything we've covered? Okay, I waited the statutory ten seconds, we'll move on. What this is entitled is Tips, Tools, & Techniques for high effectiveness. A productive person is someone who gets a lot of things done, all of you are very productive people, I'm not sure if you acknowledge it enough but you all get a lot of things done. The goal, however, is being more effective person. And whereas a productive person gets a lot of things done and an effective person gets the right things done. It begs the question is it possible to be very productive but not very effective? And you say yes, how? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Frank? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Okay. >> [INAUDIBLE] >> That's a good answer. Lisa? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> You could be doing something else, more of the maybe non-urgent priorities. Paul? >> We're checking off all the things that are just easier to do and not [INAUDIBLE] really. >> Essentially, it comes down to not working on the right things, not getting the right things done. You come into work tomorrow, you make a list of things to do and the total is 15. At the close of business tomorrow, you check off, how many you did and low-and-behold you did 12 out of the 15 by all accounts you had what? A very productive day. But the three you didn't do are the most important things. Prioritization for all intents and purposes has gone away. In general, people do not prioritize everyday. Most of the time, it seems email or interruptions engulf the morning. So let’s look at each of these one by one. The first tip listed here is to unclutter everywhere, show of hands, how many of you have clutter somewhere in your life? Anybody? Okay? If you just raised your hand, the recommendation is to unclutter everywhere. I'm gonna show you an old picture. I want you to determine what this picture causes you to feel. What feelings do you sense when you see this picture? Does anybody have any positive feelings about this picture? Anybody know who this person is? He's a rather famous deceased talk radio host from New York City. Name is Joe Franklin. One of the first talk radio hosts ever back in the 60s. A renowned hoarder. Some interesting things in this picture, a bottle of Pepto Bismol right here. His picture in back of a disco ball, stains on his shirt, rotary phone, so it's an old picture. If there's a caption over his head, what might it read? >> But I know where everything's at. >> Excellent. Excellent, Don. The caption might read, what's the problem here? I know where everything's at. What he might need to ask is what if somebody else needs to find something here? What he might need to ask is what image do the people, who rely on me, get from this person who works here? Would you like to associate with this individual? Would you like to do business with this individual? Now this is what clutter, to whatever extent, can cause. I recommend during the next 30 days that you strongly consider, if needed, a total purge of the unnecessary in your life. Purge your office without violating any record retention policies. Accounting firms need to do that. Purge your closet, purge your garage, purge your desk drawers, purge your kitchen cabinets. People and pets, by the way, are up to you. >> [LAUGH] >> The word purge is synonymous with elimination. A place for everything, everything in its place. Let's cleanse the environment. Tax season is a time for piling, in my experience. Hopefully, you folks don't do that. Everybody see what I'm talking about? Don't become someone who is demoralized, discouraged, distressed, distracted, disillusioned, or even depressed about an environment that is clattered with the unnecessary. >> But he became very successful [INAUDIBLE]. >> He did. >> [INAUDIBLE] >> I won't deny that. >> Yeah. >> [INAUDIBLE] >> No, what I'm saying is some people, that's how they live their life and they can be successful, most of us can't. >> We also chose a career that no one saw. That's probably the only photo of him in an office. >> Actually, if you google him, you'll see a lot of pictures of him. Number one, number two is about a task management system, a to-do-list is now a task management system. Here's the good news, there are more excellent task management systems available to us than ever. Here's the bad news, there are more excellent task management systems than ever. What do you choose? Bottomline is it doesn't matter. Comfort is key. Well, since it doesn't matter, if a CEO of the business insists or requires everybody to use the same system, then it does matter. What's important is that you have something that you're comfortable with, that you download and upload from, where you're downloading tasks and due dates, not just a random to-do-list. Now, there's a difference between a task list and a checklist. A book entitled The Checklist Manifesto might be of interest to some of you. It is a long book but you only need to read a few chapters in my opinion. But it's the value of basic checklists that can serve us well. If you have one note in your Outlook package, for example, OneNote is an excellent place to put checklists down for routine matters, so you have to remember to do these things, just follow the checklist. I have a checklist for the morning startup, the daily wrapup, the weekly planning. I just relocated my office and moved into an office with my wife. Because she needed to be extracted from a toxic situation in the office she was in. And the only way she could do that was for me to move in with her. So I put together a relocation checklist. I could show it to you. There are 77 items on this checklist. 77 less things that I had to think about, there were on due dates on it, it was just a checklist of all these things. As of today, 68 of the 77 are done and I look at it and I just say, wow, I love that stuff. I'm a little different than you. But it's so easy to do those things, so less stressful when you do one thing at a time based on a checklist. >> [INAUDIBLE] Do you mind if I just maybe take another client situation. Before you fly an airplane, maybe you have pilots, you've built a good checklist. And the first time one of my employees flying, when we got back to the club I hear someone say, how was it flying with John? And I felt really comfortable until I saw him read the directions manual. >> [LAUGH] >> You remind me Joe that the book, the checklist manifesto addresses airline pilots. He really covers the effect the checklist have on death rates and hospitals, airlines, and so forth. And it's an incredible statistic in healthcare. Arguably, cardiologists can be a little high on the ego side. The cardiologists who's been a heart surgeon for 30 years might say, I don't need no stinking checklist, I know how to operate. This book proves that when they follow checklists, the accuracy, the effectiveness, the quality increases dramatically. I ask all of you at this moment just to take a second and ask where do you keep all of your tasks. Did this in yesterday's vistas meeting. And one person pointed to his head. That's not a task management system. Now, I'm not against making notes all day long, in fact, I think that's a good idea. At the end of each day at the daily wrap-up, lift them off and download them into the system where they do that. See, that's the system. Then in the morning, you upload, download and upload everyday. Having time to plan is A technique. Establish calendar commitments, that's fancy for saying make sure they're scheduled. You look in my calendar, you'll see the morning start up and the daily wrap up in everyday. The morning start-up is in my calendar at 4:00 AM. The daily wrap-up is in my calendar at 8:00 PM. Now, that doesn't mean I do them then because my schedule fluctuates. I'm all over the United States travelling here, travelling there, different timezones. When I'm in my office on a day when I'm not travelling, I can do them, I could do my morning start up at 8:00 when I like to do and I can do my daily wrap up at 4:30 PM when I like to do it. So what I do is every week, I pull the top one down and morning start up based on where I'm at and I take the bottom one up, the daily wrap up, I calibrate it. But they're in the calendar as commitments. Same thing with weekly planning and with priority work time. So the idea is to have weekly planning and the work day book end scheduled if they're appealing to you. What gets scheduled gets done. Here's a picture that shows an individual with kind of a worried look on his face cuz the whole world is grabbing at him. And he's trying to concentrate and get his work done. Technique number four is priority work time. This is a transformational technique. It's not uncommon for me to run into somebody who I haven't seen for a long time. I, unfortunately, can't remember everybody's names out of the hundreds of people I meet every year. But I'll see somebody, who I haven't seen, and they'll come up to me and one of the first things they'll say to me with a thumbs up, this PWT is a sustainable technique. It just does my heart so, it's quite warming to hear people continue to do PWT because that's how transformation has been for many people's lives. That sad vision I mentioned earlier of watching everybody drive home. Maybe you need two hours a day for you. Maybe you find yourself today subordinating your own needs just too many times. You're a pleaser. Admirable but at what cost? Delegation with acute clarity causes on-time delivery. Acutely clear is the top of a five point scale of awareness that people will have when you make a request of them with regards to what you want and when you want it. They can be acutely clear, generally clear, somewhat clear, generally unclear, or at the bottom of the scale, acutely unclear, also known as having no clue what you mean. Being very focused on what you're saying and assessing what you've said before, you send it in the proofreading which most busy people have no time to do, it's so important. W Edwards Deming was an individual who focused on quality. In the 1940s, he was rejected by American business, so he went to Japan after World War II and his principles and techniques were applied to the Japanese economy and brought Japan back after the war. And it wasn't until the 1990s that his work was respected in the United States. And one of his very first principles of quality is something so simple. It says, do it right the first time. And it could be that some of you are doing things over and over again because you're rushing too much. One thing at a time, more methodically. If you're an impatient person, Jessica, that's difficult to do. It's so important. Be acutely clear. If you delegate to other people, or better put, tell your team that if in anytime beginning now you make a request to them and you're not clear with when you want it, that it's okay for them to ask you. A lot of people don't like to say I don't know what you mean but I have found many, many people are very comfortable with saying excuse me, I'm not acutely clear with what you mean. I wanna introduce that concept to them. Meetings, Jerry. Here's a picture that kinda speaks volumes. What do you notice about this, Mr Benton? >> There's no clock. >> [LAUGH] The first thing Jerry notices is there's no clock. What else do you notice? >> We're not making any, we [INAUDIBLE]. >> What's that? Disengaged, right? But the leader of the meeting is oblivious. Meetings are collaborative, not just about what you wanna say but you want people to participate in. There are basically four things to cover in a one-to-one. I have a one-to-one with Paul hypothetically every Wednesday morning from 09:30 to 10:00. There are four words that characterize this agenda. The words are updates, issues, delegation, miscellaneous. >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Updates, issues, delegation, Miscellaneous. Paul comes into my office and we sit down at 9.30, we start on time, we say good morning to each other and then we get right into it. The first two agenda points are Paul my direct report. He says, here is an update on this, here is progress report on that. Because I have five other direct reports. So it's important for them to report to me instead of me asking what's the progress report and update. When I hear something positive or good from Paul, what do I say to him? The number one need of any direct report forever has been acknowledge, recognition and appreciation, here's an opportunity to say great job, wow, I'm really pleased to hear you did that. That can have a glow in certain people that can last for days. And takes three seconds to say great job, less. If I hear something not so good, I ask why and how can I help you? This is not an opportunity to reprimand, as much as it is to figure out what happened. Issues are the non-crucial questions and problems that now serve as another interruptions management technique. If I have a one to one with Paul every Wednesday at 9:30 and he's got a question today, Thursday, and we've agreed that if it's not critical, why not hold it for our one to one? What might happen to that question between today and next Wednesday? It tends to go away. Incubation, if Paul doesn't know when we're gonna meet, he might say, well, I gotta get this taken care of. I don't know when I'm gonna get an opportunity. If Paul brings up a question or a problem one to one, I never tell him what to do. I always what, ask him what he thinks. So Paul says, I've got a problem, what should I do? And I say, well what do you think? And he says, I don't know. That's why I'm asking you. I like this approach at that moment. I say, well, what are the options? I think that is a greta question because at that point Paul might say, well, option one is this and option two is that, which proves what? >> He lied. >> He lied. [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH] >> He said he didn't know 30 seconds ago, but he knew. And then in a fit of brilliance, somewhat facetiously, I say, well if you were me, what would you tell you to do? And he might just say, well obviously, option two and I say, next question. But I've not solved, I've not answered. I've provided him a forum. And if you do that repetitively, people stop bringing you these things. They're empowered to take the initiative and be self-reliant because I'm just gonna ask you, what do you think. It sounds like an over simplification to ome degree, it is but generally, it's not. It really works. Delegation is where I hold things for Paul, instead of interrupting him all week long. Maybe I give him five things at one to one, instead of interrupting five times. If I tell him something I want, I didn't tell him when. He will says, I'm not acutely clear, when do you want it? And I say sometime next week and he says, what day? And I say, hm, Tuesday. Which is good cuz he was thinking Friday. He says, well, what time you want it on Tuesday? Sometime in the afternoon. Sometimes you have to have three or four questions until you get to the point but it's pay now or pay later. And then we cover any miscellaneous things, weather, sports, family, vacations, etc. These briefings are just recommended to be no more than 30 minutes each. They start and stop on time. Five minutes before they're supposed to end, I recommend that you lean across and say our time is up. But wait, I've got 14 other things to talk about. Got it, gotta watch the clock. Got to be really good at ending meetings. When you schedule meetings, always schedule the beginning and end. Della, can we meet next week? How about next Monday at 3 o'clock? She says, yes. Rewind the video tape. Della, can we meet from 3 to 3:45 on Monday? See the difference. And after an agreement cuz she's defaulting to 60, I only want 45, that's a 15-minute savings that can be significant. Louise, this is for you. [LAUGH] Establish and consistently practice a policy and procedure related to interruptions. Here's an interesting picture to me at least. Furrowed brow on this individual's face. Eyes are closed. A middle finger on each side of his head. Telling people, go away. Cation over his head might read, I really need a new job. And I say that because unjustified turnover is very costly. And without interruptions, management without a policy and procedure, many businesses are losing people because they just can't, they have no life, they can't work like this anymore. What they don't realize is wherever they go, they running into the same thing. So you can run but you can't hide kind of thing. But let's quell this, let's be directive. And not to belabor this Louise, but I think that this is something that if you can develop, maybe in collaboration with Frank, could really have an impact as a managing partner. Interruptions, the active only or inbox zero email system, I recommend the active only. Few other things about emails that you won't like, I would like to add at this point. One of my opinions is that we've become a business world of LIFO workers. LIFO means? >> Last in, first out. >> Last in, first out. Causing a continuous, putting off, postponing and to some extend procrastinating about things from previous days. Very little proactive planning about future days, we're in the business world today, where it seems to be all about now, email has caused that. The recommendation number one here is to change the order of your in-box and sent-items folders and put the oldest, not the newest on top. Again, must people don't like that tip. Take care of yesterday before you take care of today. Some of you will do that initially and see the first one on the list now from 2014. >> [LAUGH] >> Second thing to do after that is to get out of there, all the inactive ones which may take a while but it feels so good to have only the active ones in there. Everything else, get them out. Delete them. Archive them. Don? >> I have a question about that, cuz you said on the sent items, a little note on the sent items you're looking for an answer back on. That would mean you got advantage of that sent item file pretty heavily as well because you're constantly responding and sending e-mails. >> The only word I would, not totally agree with you Dominic is heavily. Once you get into the system, it's not out time consuming effort. >> So you respond to an emails and you send [INAUDIBLE] >> There is a, I don't use it, but in Google you can have an add-on that says, send and archive. I don't use it, but you can theoretically- >> Yeah, I was about to tell you there are ways to do that, I'm not gonna take the time here, cuz it's too technical, but even if you did it manually, if you sent an email, and take five more seconds to think, do I need to wait on this or no? Go into your sent items and delete it, that takes about five to ten seconds. It's not a heavy investment in time. What I'd like for you to have though is at the end of each day, only the ones you're waiting for a reply on, because I don't know about you, if I were to ask you to tell me all the emails you've sent this week to people I'm thinking you'd have a hard time. You don't have to remember. Just look and it's in there. I try to keep my sent Items folder under 20 everyday. So every night I look at it and I say, I didn't hear from Jerry, so I send him another quick email. Hi Jerry, just confirming you got my email on Tuesday. You know what oftentimes happens? Within five minutes, there's Jerry's response. You accelerate the closure. If it's the last week of the month, and it's a new business opportunity of sorts, maybe it affects my bottom line for tha month. So instead of going into the month of April now I've closed it in March by just managing your sent items folder. So you change the order, get out of the inactive. Second recommendation, actually people don't dislike this as much. Change the subject line to reflect the message. Today you might receive an email that has nothing to do with this message. Somebody is using a subject line that's essential in November. The first thing people see after who it's from is what the subject line is. That gets peoples' attention. Need to hear from you today could be a subject line. You see what I mean? Change the subject line, do the subject line last. If you've composed an email and you don't have a subject line and hit send, a window will pop-up. Excuse me, you don't have a subject, are you sure you want to send it? We'll remind you. If you get an e-mail and you want to compose a response that has nothing to do with their subject line, I say delete it. Do the same thing. Do it last. I found it to be a very effective technique. It takes time and that's why people don't like these tips. They agree with them oftentimes, but they don't like them, cuz it's extra time, but you gotta take time to make time as the classic time management principle here. So number nine, consider converting to the act of only email method, and to add on that, the email guidelines document for your business. See, right now, everybody's handling e-mails however they want basically, and maybe you have someone who's getting back to people every 30 seconds, maybe you have somebody who waits three days to get back to people. What's the right thing to do? What's the right thing to use, right way to use your email system? Calendar balance is next, number ten. One thing we haven't discussed today is how many hours you spend in meetings per week. I'm not talking about client meetings, I'm not talking about business development meetings, I'm talking about operational meetings. You may be spending too much time in those. How many hours per week should your position average in operational meetings? Maybe that number is 10 and you're averaging 13. Well those three hours is a six hour swing with the opportunity cost associated with them. The reason I bring that up is because once you have number, every Friday afternoon, for example, a weekly planning you could see how many meeting hours you're already booked for next week. Maybe you need to negotiate out of some of those because you're overloaded. It's an inventory control point and you may be selling inventory you don't have. Need the better use. Success descriptions is a one page document that defines the goals, strategy, and metrics for a position. It's a whole other seminar. I have a whole other Vistage presentation called the goal setting executive where we get into that a little bit more in depth. It's a time management organizational tip because the priorities of the day, if you think about it, need to be aligned and synchronized with the priorities for the position, which should be in alignment for the priorities of the business. That's the linkage, the synchronicity. If the business plan is not well developed, if success descriptions are not clear, then emotion is how the day is run. What people feel like doing or feel compelled to do, they do. That doesn't mean the company fails. So, it's kinda choose your battles, and finally, the business plan. The tip here is to create, if you don't already have one, a model to develop, finalize, launch, and, most importantly for today, manage the business plan every month. I recommend that your business plan be organized categorically. Here are the six, I'm sorry, the five categories that I recommend for your consideration. This slide is available to all of you if you don't wanna feverously write. Customer service or client service, business development covers sales, financial performance addresses revenue and profit, gross, net. Look at the last two categories however. If I were to ask you what the biggest expenses on your financial statement I'm guessing many, if not all of you, would say, people. Yet so often people are lacking in the goal section of a business plan. Staff effectiveness and operational efficiency cover everything about people. Staff effectiveness is about their individual performance, operational efficiency is about the culture. Now goal setting in these two areas is a little difficult for many people, because we're just not in the habit. It's easy to say what our top line goal is. It's easy to say what our revenue and net profit goals are. Customer service is not that difficult, but when you get down to these last two, sometimes it's difficult to compose a smart goal. Here's the model. This Business Planning Model is something that I use. I recommend it to any of you who don't have a model. It's a flow from mission to monthly review. I'll go through this quickly. A mission statement asks what's the purpose or intention of our business. The mission statement doesn't change that often. A vision statement is a look through the leader's eyes, the CEO's eyes for example, that asks, what do you see in those five categories for the next two years, three years, five years? What's the long-term picture? An assessment is commonly known as a SWOT analysis in strategic planning terms. What are the current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in each of the 5 categories? So if I were to sit down with Your business, I'd ask in the area of customer service, what's the primary strength, primary weakness, primary opportunity, primary threat? Therefore, we have five strengths, five weaknesses, five opportunities, five threats. And then we get into what the priorities are for this fiscal year. Now, if you don't have a business plan yet, you can easily develop one for the next nine months. You can establish it at any point. Once the priorities are set, the tedium of business planning sets in. Strategies are tedious, right Paul? Project plans, everything I was talking about before, tedious, boring. So important, though. So you develop a strategy for each of the priorities, each of the categories. Then you roll those all up into a master chronological plan. You create scorecards which are spreadsheets the metrics, scoreboards which are graphs. But here's the most important thing for today. Every month, are we winning or losing, and how much time is left? So every month I recommend a four-part agenda that asks how did we do last month? How are we doing year-to-date? What changes in our master plan, if any? What are we gonna do next month? The growth of the business, the accomplishment of annual priorities. The probability of all that increases exponentially when you allocate the time to manage the business plan every month. I went through that somewhat quickly. Are there any questions on what we just went over? >> I just had a question on SWOT. Opportunity and threat I got, but what is the other two? >> Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The strategies are essentially to convert weaknesses to strengths and take advantage of the opportunities while you continue the strengths and prevent the threats. It's the weaknesses and opportunities that you want to focus on. If you do this annually, if a weakness keeps appearing, there's something wrong with that picture. By the way, I recommend that your business plan be completed by the 15th of the month prior to the fiscal year, every year. If your fiscal year is January 1, right around the 15th of December the most popular phrase in the business is, After the Holidays. Before you know it, it's February. Those are the 12 Tips, Tools, and Techniques. That is a 12-step program for your organizational effectiveness. At this point, I take you to our key ideas and commitments. Would all of you indulge me and answer these questions? Number one, what's the most important thing you heard today? Take a moment, collect your thoughts, and in the space provided, what's the most important thing you heard this morning? And now, the most important thing moving forward. First question. Based on what you heard today, what's the one thing you will start doing? Then what's the one thing you will stop doing? Here's a tip, you might want to stop saying sure the next time somebody asks if you had a minute. Might wanna stop leaving your door open all day long. Things like that. Might want to stop tolerating meetings without agendas. Might wanna stop delegating without clearly defined target dates or turnaround times. What's the one thing you will start delegating? Frank, I'd like for you to focus on that one. What's something that maybe you've been just been doing too much of yourself that you need to leverage a little bit better? And then the last one, is there anything that you want to simplify moving forward? And then I have a few closing remarks. Is there anybody who would like to share what they have just written? Lisa? >> On the 38th manual or the previous one? >> Any or all. >> Okay, well, the most important tools that I heard today is that we need to set up a business plan, and more importantly analyze it monthly. And then start doing today, is taking the two hours to work on the business and not be in the rat race. Stop doing, is I am an interrupter. And I allow a lot of interruptions, so that stopped. >> [SOUND] >> Delegation is basically things that I don't have to do, these tasks, these little things that I like to do because I like to check lists. Get rid of them. Delegate them to staff and then something more simplified, right now we have too many people doing too many things. And so I would really like to success descriptions to it employees so that they really understand what they need to be doing every day. So that's it. >> Sounds like you have a meaningful morning. If today were April 8 and you and I sat down and I asked you how did you do in those four commitments? And you said I did them all. Will that be a good thing? >> Absolutely. >> Okay, I challenge you to get started on those. Make it real, cuz the motivation to do those things right now is at it's highest. By Monday it'll come way down. >> [LAUGH] >> Anybody else wanna share with us? Okay, my closing remarks reviews with you, first the definition of a successful leader. The accomplishment of priorities primarily through the efforts of other people. In order to do that you have to have individuals who are competent, motivated and organized, C, M, and O. If there's anybody on your direct report list who is no longer competent, not as motivated or disorganized, the trust level in them is not going to be high. So competency may call for a training program for them. Motivation might call for a coaching program with them. And organization might call for an assessment of how they're working and the offering of new or revised systems and techniques, such as you've heard today. If a person is all of the above, acknowledge and give them as much as you can. If a person is none of the above, it may be time to accelerate the inevitable by first putting them on notice that it's not working. >> [COUGH >> October 2001, was a significant time for me. If you're in my business, you always show up for meetings and presentations and keynotes and workshops. I am neither pleased nor proud to tell you that over the 40 years plus I've been in business, there have been times when I really shouldn't have showed up because I was not feeling well had some family issues etc. But it's kind of an unwritten law. Except this one time in October of 2001, there's the first week in October as a few weeks after airplane started flying again after 9/11. I had a 6:30 United Airlines flight to New York City that morning. To do three or four seminars. I got to San Diego airport at 5 o'clock in the morning, it was dark and cold, relatively speaking, and I notice something very freaky when I got to the airport. There were literally hundreds of people just gathered in the lobby. These were the days when you just walked up to the gate with your family with no problem. But not this morning. And after about 15 minutes, not even knowing what's going on, the United Airlines manager sorts stood up to the counter with no microphone and yelled out to people to get their attention and this deafening silence overcame the lobby at the airport. And he began by saying these words. He said, folks, it's no longer business as usual. We've just been advised by the FAA that we now need to check everything in your belongings before you go to the gate. If you did not have a boarding purse you will not be allowed to the gate. Your flights will either be cancelled or significantly delayed. I would recommend you consider cancelling or rescheduling to a different day. And I went home. I've never done that and it killed me to do it but I couldn't get to New York that day and it would have messed up the whole week and I apologetically called and I survived. But you know what I never forgot that day? I never forgot the words, it's no longer business as usual. Around 1,100 Vistage meetings later, I still have just one criticism of the Vistage experience for the members. And that's the Vistage member who goes back to his or her office and tries to implement 55 new things in the next 48 hours. In lieu of that, I recommend a Vistage cooling off period. Which means from the end of your Vistage day to the following Monday or Tuesday, don't say much to anybody. During that time you really prepare a personal action summary of the day. And you have a standing debriefing with your direct reports. And especially if they came to the same meeting. And you talk about the key ideas that you walked away with, the initiatives and changes that you wanna make, and get their commitment and support. That's a whole lot better than shotgunning these ideas. And when you do that, you have the opportunity to convey to your staff, your team, that you wanna make some significant changes not because it hasn't worked before but it's time to change. And it's an opportunity for you to maybe say to your team, it's no longer business as usual. No longer can we interrupt people all of the time. No longer can we have meetings without better organization. No longer can we have clutter in our lives. No longer can we tolerate lateness. Delegation all the things I shared with you today. Maybe it's time for some of you, and I would say it is, to make a statement that it's no longer business as usual. If you do, and if you accomplish what you just wrote down, then I think by one month from today, you will feel much more of an organized executive. During the next 30 days, if I can be of assistance to any of you the contact information is on the bottom of both sides of your document. Please feel free to pose a question or if you need more clarification I'd be delighted to help you. I'm gonna wrap up and head out to the airport to take the long journey home to California. Please know that I really appreciate the opportunity to be with you this morning. Thank you for indulging me. I wish you all a very organized life. Thank you. >> [APPLAUSE]

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