Six tips from successful CEOs

There is a lot of management advice out there. Much of it is really good and valuable, and a fair amount of it is, well, bad. Whether it simply is not applicable to your business, or the advice is not real world-tested, you can be led astray if you read the wrong books and articles.

Here is advice from six accomplished CEOs. Of course, it is possible that these tips do not apply to your business, but they should be food for thought:

  1. Use yesterday’s email as today’s to-do list, from Tony Hsieh of Zappos. Hsieh, famously innovative, created a concept he calls Yesterbox. Most executives are overwhelmed by email, and simply keeping up can be daunting. Rather than have email be an albatross and an obstacle, turn it into a productivity tool. We are pretty sure that was the original goal of email, anyway.
  2. Limit your meetings, from Nissan and Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn. Like email, meetings can be a productivity-crusher, so limiting them often helps move the organization forward, and tends to make the meetings more substantive and on-point. Ghosn told Fortune that he is very strict about meetings: “The maximum is one hour and 30 minutes. Fifty percent of the time is for the presentation, 50 percent is for discussion.”
  3. Work from home one day a week, from Brian Halligan of Hubspot. Halligan told Business Insider that he thinks people “work work work and don't think think think think, and that the percentage of time people work versus think is off.” Working from home on a regular basis provides an opportunity to get away from the distractions of the office and consider big picture concepts.
  4. Get out of bed, from Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Square. This applies to plenty of highly successful CEOs, but we will pin it on Dorsey, who told New York magazine that he gets up every day at 5:30 to meditate and go for a six-mile jog. It is a great way to gather yourself for the day ahead, and, if you are inclined to exercise, pay attention to your own physical wellbeing.
  5. Stop multitasking, from Eric Schmidt of Google. No one is any good at it; all it really does is prevent you from doing excellent work. Schmidt told AMEX Open Forum that he keeps things focused, believing that if Google is consistent, it can change the world. Seems to have worked.
  6. Manage your own psychology, from Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz. Horowitz addresses many of the tougher aspects of management in his book The Hard Thing About the Hard Things. He writes about the toughness needed to run a business, and that most CEOs are afraid to talk about the stress and how difficult it is. So, know that you are not alone as you struggle with the day-to-day pressures.

Contact us at 215.441.4600 if you have questions or would like to discuss how this topic may impact your business.

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