“Time may change me; But I can’t trace time …”

 


 

Some of the most concise and useful personal productivity advice I have seen comes not from David Bowie, but from Peter Drucker. I have often rejected time management with the observation that time seems immune to my attempts at controlling or directing it; time just goes. Personal management is work, but it works.

 

Effective executives, in my observation, do not start with their tasks. They start with their time. And they do not start out with planning. They start by finding out where their time actually goes. Then they attempt to manage their time and to cut back unproductive demands on their time. Finally they consolidate their “discretionary” time into the largest possible continuing units.

–Peter F. Drucker
From The Effective Executive

Reminds me of the “Handle the big rocks first” metaphor in Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

 

 


 

You Don’t Need to be Crazy to be an Entrepreneur…

 


 

…but being hypomanic seems to help, according to John D. Gartner, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and author of The Hypomanic Edge

In his article for The American Enterprise Institute, America’s Manic Entrepreneurs Dr. Gartner writes,
“Successful entrepreneurs are … are highly creative people who quickly generate a tremendous number of ideas—some clever, others ridiculous. Their “flight of ideas,” jumping from topic to topic in a rapid energized way, is a sign of hypomania. … It is a temperament characterized by an elevated mood state that feels “highly intoxicating, powerful, productive, and desirable” to the hypomanic, according to Frederick Goodwin and Kay Jamison, authors of the definitive book Manic-Depressive Illness. “

–John D. Gartner, Ph.D.
American Enterprise
Jul2005, Vol. 16 Issue 5, p18

I highly recommend the article to anyone who is or works with high-energy business leaders.

 


 

Another Good Reason to Meditate

 


Dr. Peter Suedfeld, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia and an expert in human cognition. …told us that creativity is a “very mysterious thing” that “exists in pretty much everyone” — but that there are indeed ways to improve it. One method he has studied extensively is what he calls the Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique (REST) — putting people into places with no light or outside stimuli.

“What I’ve found,” he said, “is that far from making people crazy, moderate deprivation lowers blood pressure, improves mood, and makes people more creative.”

From: “Outside the Box”: The Inside Story
By Martin Kihn, Fast Company, June 2005

Found in:

IDEAS IN THE NEWS
A biweekly publication of MeansBusiness
Vol. VI No. 8 — June 29, 2005 

 


 

 

See free, easy Meditation Instructions on this blog.

 

 


 

How to Increase Employee Cooperation and Collaboration

 


 

Would you like to more than triple the chances that your employees will volunteer to help a colleague or a customer? In just two months. For free.

Easy. Encourage your staff  to meditate for 20 minutes per day. That is the conclusion from a recent study.

The results were striking. Although only 16 percent of the nonmeditators gave up their seats — an admittedly disheartening fact — the proportion rose to 50 percent among those who had meditated. This increase is impressive not solely because it occurred after only eight weeks of meditation, but also because it did so within the context of a situation known to inhibit considerate behavior: witnessing others ignoring a person in distress — what psychologists call the bystander effect — reduces the odds that any single individual will help.

From Grey Matter: The Morality of Meditation
by David DeSteno, Ph. D. in The New York Times
describing research
by Paul Condon, Ph. D., Northeastern University
published in Psychological Science

 


 

See free, easy Meditation Instructions on this blog.

 


 

A conversation with executive coaching client Ron Dimon. Part 7

 


 

Click here for Tony Mayo's podcastThis latest podcast is part seven of a funny and useful conversation between top executive coach Tony Mayo and his longtime client Ron Dimon. Ron is an expert on the use of information by executives of large organizations. Listen as two experienced business people play with useful ideas in this episode including:

  • Put something “at stake”
    • Power of a public promise
  • Integrity under uncertainty
  • Stop grasping, start gaining
    • The power of “giving up”
  • “Hero Managers” attract unreliable employees
  • Don’t be sorry, be successful
    • Recovering from failure
  • Choose your thoughts

Just click here and either listen through your computer or subscribe through iTunes to have this and all new episodes placed on your device as they become available.

You may also set up an automatic “feed” to non-Apple devices by using this link: click here for other devices.

 


 

Google Research Confirms Basics of Management

 


 

The New York Times recently ran a nice article about how Google–in its usual highly-analytic, data-driven way–measured the results of different management behaviors amongst its own workforce. The recommendations that emerged from this research will be familiar to readers of this blog.

I wish these were practiced as often as I preach them!

 


 

 

Google’s Project Oxygen

Eight Good Behaviors



Be a good coach
Provide specific, constructive feedback, balancing the negative and the positive.
Have regular Read the rest of this entry »

Fundamental Management is Fundamental Psychology

 


 

People have three basic wants that make them susceptible to social influence.

  1. First, people have a hedonic motive, or a desire to experience pleasure and avoid pain.
  2. Second, people have an approval motive, or a desire to be accepted and to avoid being rejected.
  3. Third, people have an accuracy motive, or a desire to believe what is true and to avoid believing what is false.

As we shall see, most forms of social influence appeal to one or more of these motives.

Psychology
Page 16-22
By Schacter, Gilbert, & Wegner

 


 

See also, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, on this blog.

 


 

Prompt, Precise Performance Reviews

 


 

Just Ask LeadershipJust Ask Leadership: Why Great Managers Always Ask the Right Questions

Excerpted, by Art Kleiner in Strategy+Business, from chapter 2

Here’s how the process works. The day before meeting, your coworker brings you a list of five or six key objectives, detailing her progress on each. During the review on the following day, you simply assess the data and discuss how performance compares with objectives. Depending on the employee, this can be a short thirty-minute process, or take as long as two hours. [If you do this weekly or every day, as you might on a tight deadline or vital project, the meeting might last ten minutes. –Tony]

When an employee comes into your office, she should always bring a pen and paper and be required to take detailed minutes of the meeting. Once the meeting is over, the employee should make a photocopy of the minutes for your file. [This is a bit dated! Have the employee email a summary. For high value employees, use a Read the rest of this entry »

Time Management = Self-Management

 


 

I found more evidence of just how much we lost when Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch died. Today, while revising my executive coaching materials on goal setting and time management, a colleague mentioned that Randy Pausch was most proud of his talk on time management.

 

Randy Pausch on time management at UVA
We are in the midst of a famine,
a prolonged, widespread deficit of a resource
essential to life: productive time.

 

Pausch’s talk is a thorough and entertaining presentation of the essentials and I highly recommend it for my executive coaching clients (though I can not agree with every suggestion). You may have heard much of it before, but Professor Pausch’s celebrity, good humor, and excellent example give it tremendous impact. You will do something different and better as a result of watching.

Highlights


• Record and priority rank your tasks to reduce stress

• Batch your tasks, questions, and communications by person

• Schedule blocks of time adequate for the task

• Avoid interruptions and distractions

 

The video and the PowerPoint slides, along with lots of other Pausch material, are available here.

Watching this talk may leave you with a big question, especially if the advice is familiar. “Why am I not doing these things despite the knowing that they work?” That gap, the mystery between what we know and what we practice, is my domain: executive coaching.

 


 

Warren Bennis on Leadership

The Economist newspaper has an excellent summary of Warren Bennis’s work on leadership, adapted from their book: Guide to Management Ideas and Gurus. Bennis makes a strong case for leadership as something to be nurtured and learned.

Four things an effective leader must embody, communicate, and encourage are:

Mr. Bennis and I share, along with many other management consultants and executive coaches, a debt to the pioneering work of Werner Erhard‘s EST and Landmark Education.




Tony Mayo, Top Executive Coach, is located in Reston, Virginia 20190