First Things First
This month, I played in the Financial Executives International golf tournament and the BayCFO golf event. I won’t tell you what my scores were because when you’re a headhunter it’s important to always maintain a positive mental attitude! Seriously, both events were great fun but they took place in the same week and when I got back to the office I was backed up with dozens of voicemail messages and what seemed like a million emails. Doesn’t it always seem that way with email? At any rate, I remembered something I had read about focusing in on the most important things first. One must commit to getting a few very important things done. Someone once said, “One thing finished completely, equals a thousand things started but unfinished.”
An Offer He Couldn’t Refuse
Around 100 years ago, Charles Schwab, president of Bethlehem Steel, wanted to increase his own efficiency, and that of his key people at the steel company. A renowned ‘efficiency expert’ of the day, Ivy Lee, approached Mr. Schwab, and made a proposition Schwab could not refuse:
IVY LEE: I can increase your people’s efficiency – and your sales – if you will allow me to spend fifteen minutes with each of your executives.
CHARLES SCHWAB: How much will it cost me?
LEE: Nothing, unless it works. After three months, you can send me a check for whatever you feel it’s worth to you.
SCHWAB: It’s a deal.
The following day, Lee met with Schwab’s top executives, spending only fifteen minutes with each in order to say:
LEE: I want you to promise me that for the next ninety days, before leaving your office at the end of the day, you will make a list of the six most important things you have to do the next day and number them in their order of importance.
EXECs: That it?
LEE: That’s it. Scratch off each item after finishing it, and go on to the next one on your list. If something doesn’t get done, put it on the following day’s list.
Each Bethlehem executive consented to follow Lee’s instructions. Three months later, Schwab studied the results and was so pleased that he sent Lee a check for US$35,000. At the time, the average worker in the US was being paid $2 per day.
Rich Fettke, author of the new best selling book, “Extreme Success” narrows his list further to the “Top three things I must accomplish today.”
For example, your list might look like this:
- Close the books for last quarter, final draft complete.
- Prep 10 copies for board meeting.
- Call Joe Pelayo @ 800-786-1099 Re: Filling open position.
Joe Pelayo, C.P.C.
Joseph Michaels International
Global Recruiting Solutions
One of the top 75 Recruiters in the United States ~ Recruiter Life Magazine