Getting things done
I think I must have read every management book out there.
Many years ago, I went through a phase of really getting into HBR articles on leadership, or stuff by Steven Covey on the 7 habits of obsessive-compulsive people. I have tried to-do lists, colour-coding tasks in my inbox – and even incorporated a fancy system of organising powerpoint collections on my laptop. Did I learn anything? Probably… but I don’t think any of it ever really gave me the tools I was looking for.
What is the most important trait of a strong leader do they ask?
People say that someone who gets things done might have a certain risk profile, or create specific team dynamics. All true, probably.
But there is one management book which isn’t reviewed enough in the business world.
It is the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
You see, the key to getting things done – is to learn not to panic.
Learning to control panic -a natural human instinct – brings everything else back to a level-playing field where issues can be tackled logically and efficiently.
To get things done, all you need to do is take a step back, sort out urgent vs. important, strategic vs. tactical, and of course work out interdependencies so you don’t waste time with the wrong sequence.
It is liberating to attempt something like this. In fact a friend of mine who is COO of a large UK company has even invented a term for it. She has a guy in her team who is a star performer and also happens never to panic. She calls him ‘unflappable’.
That’s a new one for recruitment adverts: ‘looking for strong, unflappable candidate with a track record in sales..’
Good night folks.