I read a great article in the NZ Herald on Friday about a CEO I used to work with about ten years ago at Gen-I, Chris Quin. The article was more about his great success but in it he mentioned a few of the gems that I think have made him stand out.
It also made me think about the key habits that I learned from him, that for some reason I don't use any more now I'm not running a CEO-like role like I did for Microsoft in the Philippines.
Not losing good habits is vital – my favourite good habits that I've picked up are the Friday all hands email (or Yammer Post) I write about how the week went and what our key focuses are. I've just finished Challenger Sales training across the group with our partner, CEB, and it's clear that we just can't tell too many stories and communicate enough to make sure we're giving our clients a consistent experience. I find also that people want to know how their leaders are prioritising their time.
Another great learning from Chris was not to change the strategy message too much, to make sure we got consistent execution and that people understood their role. At Gen-I Australia I used to get feedback at exit interviews that we changed the strategy too much. In just over two years the strategy – which was pretty simple – never changed; I just kept finding what I thought were interesting ways to tell it. Intergen’s CEO Simon Bright is very good at being visually consistent across our CEO roadshows and other company updates, using the same language and messaging - team and the employee satisfaction results show it.
Some of my own good habits are taking email off my phone and not touching email in the morning so that I can focus on clients and projects and make sure I cap internal email.
I'm in Perth this week, so effectively no one was at work when I started so maybe I am cheating… I spent my first two hours writing Graduate Sales and Marketing job descriptions and then interview questions. I can only imagine the shock on the HR team’s face when they come in – it's been on my to-do list for a while! I have found that email distracts me from the important, not urgent, work that really the company invests in me to do. I'm paid not to let email decide the priority of the work I start the day with, customer emergencies aside.
So while the technologies and channels may evolve – and I’m now posting on Yammer and saving the documents to the Empired Group’s SNAP Portal – the underlying habits that are making the difference remain the same.
I’m always interested in people’s greatest habits.
Posted by: John Bessey, Empired Group Executive GM Sales & Marketing | 21 February 2017
Tags: Career, communication
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