Highly productive leaders- 10 common observed principles

Just watched Robert Scoble interview with Matt Rissell, solution-hero of SMEs and founder of TSheets, an online timetracker service.

The most interesting part was Matt’s discovery when he interviewed 100 CEO’s to learn what “tools” they used to be productive and effective, he found no commonality. But then, he had a new insight when he discovered there were common principles in the way they operate. Below I have summarised the salient points out of the interview. ( I note that Matt has started vlogging in instalments on each of these over at his blog too- so go there for more detail)

Modus operandi highly effective CEO’s – 10 observed principles:
1. Passion – you have to “want”.

2. Surround yourself with excellent people and don’t be afraid they will outshine you. That’s the point!

3. Create an environment where great people can succeed. Its not easy to hire the best, and then you need to keep them and charged with a continual re-casting of the vision. The context matters. A story from the Roman Empire was shared about how 2 workers differed in productivity- the most productive was the one who was not building a temple, but working on building the most powerful empire!

4. Simplicity – low tech can be faster. Choose your tools carefully. was very popular.

5. Know your “why” from your “want” – your inner motivation.

6. Recognise what your “secret sauce” is. What differentiates you from the next person/ leader? One guy thanked his “genetics”- he has a lot of fun and finds that attracts people because people want to be where there is fun!

7. Make your decisions be GREAT (which is not the same as make great decisions). A bad decision is better than indecision or a state of analysis paralysis. Move forward all the time.

8. Balance – not much elaborated there but its kind of obvious that too much obsession will kill the fun!

9. EXECUTE! – start every day with one clarity about one thing to achieve for that day and then do it. Just one – don’t be a slave of a to-do list. (If you can do that, that will be 365 achievements in a year- how many people can claim that?)

10. Build your own system. We are all different and not everyone’s systems for efficiency works for all styles.

Story told: Guy from Idaho said: A shotgun has much more energy and high-powered impact than rifle – but hopeless after 50 yards. A rifle with single focus and one bullet can reach much further with precision.

Trends observed

1. Now small biz owners are looking towards internet to solve their business problems
2. CEOs of very large corporations beginning to realise if they are not using the internet smartly, they are just going to be irrelevant.