I’d like to nominate Mike Duke, the CEO of Walmart, as King Of Time Management.
He runs the world’s biggest company.
He oversees 8600 stores.
He has a staff of 2.1 million people.
Yet he still handles all his emails by the end of each day!
He is so dedicated to sticking to his schedule that he is not above standing up to leave while people are still talking to him in meetings.
This guy is definitely worth studying.
As you can imagine, there’s a mountain of management techniques he uses that we all could profit from emulating.
But today, I’ll just focus on one.
His folder system.
Duke has 8 senior people reporting directly to him.
On the credenza near his desk, he has one folder for each of them.
It has their name and the time of Duke’s next meeting with them.
Before they arrive, he takes out their folder and reviews all the areas they manage.
Anything they have promised to do is listed in the folder too, so he keeps that item in there until it’s done.
It’s such a simple, effective system, but it’s cleverer than it may first appear.
Let’s look at it in detail.
He concentrates on the eight people who can create the most change in the company. (Most leaders have a far wider focus).
He prepares for each meeting before the person arrives. (Most people don’t do any preparation before internal meetings).
He is clear at all times what they are up to. (Most CEOs of big companies have only a vague idea).
He follows up rigorously. (Most senior managers have no system for follow up).
Even at Wal-Mart, where efficiency is an obsession, senior staff marvel at how much Mike Duke gets done with this system.
Maybe you should consider adopting his method too.
The reality is, the people who get to the top in business aren’t necessarily smarter than their competition.
But, like Mike Duke, they’re usually more focused and organised.