Many people find themselves being busy and having a full calendar all the time. They fill their week with meetings that are not important at the expense of important things. Instead, it’s better to start by populating your calendar with priorities that align with the company quarter, annual and 3 yearly goals. That way you are always working on the right things.
This week Brad and Kevin discuss the problem of full calendars where important strategic priorities aren’t being worked on, and what you should do about it.
Who’s in charge, you or your calendar?
Episode 56 – The Growth Whisperers
The Growth Whisperers is a weekly podcast hosted by Brad Giles and Kevin Lawrence two advisors to mid-market businesses, one Australian, one Canadian, who each work with CEOs and Leadership Teams across the world with a mission to build enduring, great companies. Each weekly episode covers interesting situations and questions from the world of strategic planning, leadership development, talent and hiring in high growth entrepreneurial companies where real results matter.
Brad Giles 00:13
Welcome to the growth whispers where everything we talk about is building enduring great companies, not fast companies, not growth companies, but enduring companies. Maybe it encapsulates those other things. But overall, it’s enduring companies, companies that will last. My name is Brad Giles. And always, as always, I’m joined today by Kevin Lawrence, my co-host. Hello, Kevin. And how are you doing today?
Kevin Lawrence 00:40
Doing great Brad Yeah, it’s awesome. We’re coming into summer here. Vancouver had a pretty good week last week. Really good. And I’m excited actually, what we’re talking about today, it was triggered by a conversation with another client, and talking about some of the headaches they’re having. And we’re hoping to provide a little bit of antidote to some of the headaches that some people feel today, which we’ll get into in a few minutes.
Brad Giles 01:05
Oh, yes. It’s an interesting subject. But as always, before we start, we’d like to begin with a simple word or phrase to kick us off, as we advocate people do in their meetings. So Kevin, what is your word or phrase for today?
Kevin Lawrence 01:21
Mine is inspired. You know, it’s interesting, as I think back over the past week, there’s been a bunch of different people that have really inspired me. You know, whether it’s action that they’re taking my daughter, you know, I think, may have got her first employee in her business. And she’s 15. Also, yeah, so that’s kind of cool. And you know, and, my son and I were having just a ton of fun. Father, Son driving around, we got we’re both into sports cars and racing. So we’re having some awesome father son drives around, and a friend that I got together with haven’t seen for a while we did some inspiring stuff got a little bit sketchy. We’re up doing some off-roading up in the mountains, we got into some pretty steep mountains with my new vehicle, which was, it was, it was actually a ton of fun, but just, you know, being back and old memories and, and some other friends this week, because we’re kind of, we’re kind of going into a bit of a lockdown. So we have to be very careful about what we do. And when we see people, you know, obviously keeping appropriate distance and stuff, but it’s inspired by some really amazing people are in my team just inspires me constantly with the stuff that they’re doing. And, you know, the feedback I get is this combination, I need to make a new word, which is a combination of inspired and grateful all mixed together. But I’m insanely impressed by these awesome people I’m surrounded by. It’s both in, in work and in life. It’s awesome. And you’re one of them, Brad, you inspire me with the way you think. And the way you make stuff happen. you’re one of those people that I’m also was on that list of awesomeness around me.
Brad Giles 03:04
Very grateful for your kind words, thank you. And I return the volley my word, my phrase is growth versus momentum. We spoke about that before this podcast, I was in a strategy planning workshop with a team last week. I’ve been working with them for about eight years. And it really felt like we transitioned from growth to momentum, meaning that they’re, you know, we’re going around the team. And they’re just awesome little things that are happening in all sorts of parts of the business. And we’ve got this great inertia, this great momentum, and it feels so different. So growth is nice. But momentum is awesome. Just that sense that you get in the business when you’re getting it when you’ve worked so hard for so long, and you’re getting it right and there is just this self inertia that is growing all parts of the business.
Kevin Lawrence 04:06
You’re getting, there’s a lot of wind at your back with that momentum and it feels you’ll grow this kind of like, you know if you’re on a bicycle, and you’re riding up the hill, and you’re and you’re climbing, and you’re and it’s working and you’re getting there. And same with your mountain biking and your mountain bike, it’s your trails and you’re pedaling and you’re getting where you want to go. And I was watching a video today of a run in Whistler Mountain called a line. It’s a mountain bike run. I remember doing this I used to downhill mountain bike, but you get momentum you start flying down and the and the gravity is pushing you and you’re going you’re flying. It’s spectacular run. Those of you that have been on a line. It’s an amazing, amazing ride. But it’s almost like it’s that feeling of going downhill versus appeal. In both cases. You’ve got awesome movement. It’s just about what the gravity is doing for you and the gravity is at your back. The best way when you’ve got that momentum, it’s a great, great feeling. It is.
Brad Giles 05:05
Okay, so cool onto today’s episode. Oh, I do love this one. It is who’s in charge you? Or your calendar? Who’s in charge? who’s running this show? So often we see people, and let’s be fair, we’ve both been a victim of this right? But so often we see people and their calendar doesn’t align with the most important things. Someone says, I can. I’m wondering if I could pick your brain about something? Have you got any time next week? I don’t know, like maybe for an hour or something like that. We could just catch up. And then you look at your calendar, and you go, yeah, okay, I got time on Tuesday at 11. Now, you multiply that by 20, over and over and over and over again, and you’re not in control of your calendar.
Kevin Lawrence 06:00
Now, yeah, that’s easy, and it’s easy to feel it. And I I do feel victim to my calendar sometimes. Because it’s full, I like to do a lot of things and help a lot of people. And, you know, it’s very easy if you’re not careful to get dragged through the week by your calendar, versus you being in charge and leading. And that’s what we’re digging into today. And it’s not just time management. This is about being strategic about your time versus reactionary about your time. And it’s, it’s something that we need to continue to do in front of me, I have my goals for the quarter for work, self and life, I keep them in front of me to remind me on a post it note in front of me, I have my three key outcomes that I need to pay attention to this month that we’re in that’s coming to a close soon. And I’ve got those three things I got to get done to remind me because you know, as you and I’ve talked many times, Brian is that we do lots of work on strategic planning for companies. And we do goal setting for leaders and executives and CEOs around work self in life so that they can live a great life and obviously take care of themselves. So they can stay resilient, like, like we talked about in your oxygen mask. But you got to then bring that to life because you can have this perfect plan. But if your priorities on your plan, don’t look like the stuff that’s in your calendar, you got yourself problem, like it’s not going to work, you’re not going to achieve what you want. And you’re going to be busy with a whole bunch of extra stuff, which might might seem really important, but maybe not relevant. so important. relevant to your strategy is an important distinction. So, Brad, anything you’d like to add to this?
Brad Giles 07:49
Well, not really, I think you’ve covered it pretty well. But I think that we jumped straight into it again, who’s in charge you or your calendar? So the first thing that we’re talking about here is the think do ratio. That’s fascinating. Kevin, tell us a little bit about the think do ratio.
Kevin Lawrence 08:07
Yeah, well really as a leader, and this is for leaders, not for people in the very very frontlines as leaders, you’re supposed to spend time thinking and planning how to make things better, and what are the winning moves? And how do you change the role of your team, but what happens with a lot of people, and when we do strap planning sessions, and people lay out their strategic goals, they’re like, I don’t have any time to do them. I’m so busy in my day job, I don’t have time to work on those projects. And we’re taught to answer is like, Oh, well, that means you probably are so busy doing, you don’t have any time to do any thinking or planning. You’re too much of a Dewar really not having enough time to be a leader. And I understand that I fall into that sometimes myself, please, I’m not judging you. We’re all in this together. But it’s this thing to do ratio, what should it be right, for a CEO they’re doing should be very tiny, like tiny, tiny, tiny, and a lot of thinking and discussing and, you know, working with other people, or, you know, a frontline technician should be doing a ton of doing what happens though is, as executives grow through the rolls, their think drew do ratio doesn’t transition. And it’s just look at their calendar, as their calendar is often full of a lot of doing.
Brad Giles 09:25
So how long should you prepare for a meeting in thinking? That’s what I asked in my book, your oxygen mask first is your book. My book is called mind to thrive. But yeah, that’s what I asked there. And, and, you know, it’s you can’t really be prescriptive, but it’s probably a bit more than most people are doing now. So, what I asked is, if you had a one hour meeting with someone, should you prepare for five minutes? Well, that’s probably not enough. If you want to To be meaningful, you know, people say that meetings are one of the worst things that they do. And I reckon one of the reasons is that people just don’t prepare. And it’s not just the person who’s running the meeting, so many of the other people, if everybody’s prepared and came together, it would be an amazing meeting. It’s the absence of preparation, because people overcook their calendar, but they put too much stuff in the calendar that makes it horrible,
Kevin Lawrence 10:28
right, which is the thinking part versus the doing of showing up and it’s, you know, even and I suggest there’s some meetings where five minutes is magic, to think about what is my intent? What do I got make, but if you’re negotiating a $7.8 million, you know, discount with a big vendor, we know you’ll spend more than five minutes or you’re sure as heck better if you’re going to be successful, you know, favor Good luck goes to the prepared. So it’s about that time in your schedule to do that, but most people get so bogged down and did they don’t have the time for thinking and I think, you know, I think Haha, they’re working with half their capability, because they don’t get time to act. And again, I fall victim to this sometimes too, or no, it’s I’m responsible, but it happens in my world sometimes to where not enough thinking too much doing and then you end up just executing and things gradually fade into the thinking to pop the quality or the strategy backup every once in a while.
Brad Giles 11:32
I have a I have a rule. I have a couple of rules around meetings. Number one is no agenda. No attender.
Kevin Lawrence 11:40
I like that, I haven’t heard that before.
Brad Giles 11:42
Yeah. So if you don’t have an agenda for this meeting, that you’re asking me to come to that you’ve sent to me so that I can think about that you’re not going to have an attendance in terms of me, right, because I need to think about it. The second one is, I have meetings with clients that have standing agendas, so we wouldn’t need every single month, right. And so then I will always email them the day before. And so for example, so Kevin, in preparation for our meeting at 2pm. Tomorrow, please let me know if there’s anything out of the ordinary that you would like to discuss, and every single one client, every single meeting, I will email them that, because number one, you know, the worst thing in the world is when someone forgets about a meeting, or it’s not on their calendar. So it’s reminding them that it’s on number one. And then number two, I’d say about 40 or 50% of the time they say something out of the ordinary that we’re going to discuss or that’s going to become a key agenda item that I can prepare for. I’ve already got for my meeting tomorrow, I’ve already got a response today. And that’s beginning to percolate
Kevin Lawrence 12:48
in the best rate, and you know, the importance of that, for example, I have a client where we have this similar system. I don’t tell people to respond, I just tell him to think about it. And and and come I like that question. No, it’s a great question, Brad. Thanks for sharing that. But we’re we send and we now don’t have to send we put in the meeting invite the agenda for the meeting. And we follow the same agenda. We have a standing format, we go through interesting, a new, awesome CEO I’m working with. He was getting frustrated in the sessions. He didn’t even know there was an agenda. So we miscommunicated and because we weren’t emailing them, they were an invite, I’m going through the agenda, and he’s not with me. And he’s wondering what’s going on? I’m like, why aren’t you following the agenda? He goes, What agenda I go well, in the meeting way. He was. So now we’re actually going to get him up to speed we’re emailing. It’s damn important. Because the agenda is how, you know, we said similar clients to help them prepare for the meeting. Yeah, and he wasn’t showing up prepared. But he didn’t realize that it was an invite, and he hadn’t looked at it. So it’s our fault. We should have let him know. But it’s super important. And I will tell you, you know, in companies time and time again, you know, meetings are a nightmare. And often because there’s no agenda and I say the same thing. If there’s no agenda don’t go even when people want to talk to me, Well, what do you want? You know, if it’s one of my clients, I said, I need five minutes. I’m gonna say, Okay, fine. I don’t need an agenda. Because I know they have a specific today I was talking to a CEO I work with, and they were had something important and said, Hey, can I talk for a few minutes? I said, Sure, fine. That’s different. But if you want to, you know, set I mean, what what is it we’re gonna cover and for example, we ran a two day strategy last week with a group. We had three meetings in advance for two days with three meetings of at least an hour each to sculpt just the agenda points. Never mind the preparation. Yeah, we had an awesome meeting. But we put it We did a lot of homework just to get the agenda right. But we should it’s two days.
Brad Giles 14:53
That’s that’s effectiveness. I what comes to mind. I had a person Who we both know who I won’t mention, who asked me for a meeting? And they were just like, Hey, can we love to catch up? Can we meet on this date? And this time? And I’m like, what’s the agenda? What do we what do we wait?
Kevin Lawrence 15:15
You know, I have to catch up. It’s not a catch up. If there’s something, let me know. And I catch up, like, I don’t want to catch up. No I don’t want I did, you’re gonna be my one of my friends. And we’re gonna go have a beer or something. So getting back to the root of it, you know, go even in think to ratio, like, number one is it your time for thinking is critical, but it’ll get it’ll, it won’t happen if you don’t have the discipline around other meetings, and not allowing them to take your critical time. So one of the first things, you know, the second thing is, you know, number two, there’s your calendar, set your priors or do you set your calendar,
Brad Giles 15:51
if you set your calendar, we need to, we need to, we need to build up the tension on that one, we need to make this we need to make the audience really understand the weight of what you’ve just said, let them roll or something close
Kevin Lawrence 16:07
to it. Like I can do a drum roll. That’s not really working. Very good. That’s not making that for us here. I got drunk, I could do come over here.
Brad Giles 16:15
Thank you very much. Thank you very much, because that’s so important. Right? Does your calendar set your product better? Is that better? That’s much better. If you’ve got a pen, this is the one thing you’re going to write down out of this episode, right? Does your calendar set your priorities? Or do your priorities set your calendar? Why is that important? Because priorities is working broadly, in our definition, working on the business. Okay. So what is the most important thing that you’ve got to do to work on the business broadly, what is the most important thing that you decide that has to be done? As opposed to as we said earlier, someone ringing up and say, Hey, Kevin, you want to catch up?
Kevin Lawrence 17:01
Just wanted to catch up, and let’s be proactively putting in the things that matter most first. Yeah. And again, it’s not rocket science, it’s just hard to do. And what that looks like, is you have to pre block things in. So for as an example, you know, with, with my team and our quarterly goals, I’ve got stuff pre blocked in like, I know, I have in my calendar this week, a half a day session. On on our strategy on the people side of the business, it was booked a couple months ago. And we’ve got time to go through and work on some of the stuff you were talking about. We’re talking about before the show, yeah, but it’s in there. Right. And it’s pre scheduled before other things go in. And same and same with my one on ones with my team. I’ve got a one on one on my team, where we go through all the stuff that’s working in, and it’s in there to help because that’s, that’s a key part of success as our firm as my teammates. And, again, it’s not rocket science. And same thing with us, you and I doing this podcast, you got to block in these things, because all the other stuff will fill in all the cracks real fast. So these are all things we know, the key thing to ask yourself is, am I proactively blocking in the strategic things that matter most in my calendar, that helped me to hit my goals, which is it could be your personal goals, and it could be your workout, or it could be your life goals. And that can be time with people that matter a lot in your life. And obviously, your work goals. So it’s, incredibly important. And again, that’s why ideally, a lot of the highest performing people we work with, they have their annual goals, quarterly goals, many will have a monthly version or a monthly target. And then weekly goals and daily goals.
Brad Giles 18:46
So heavy. And they
Kevin Lawrence 18:49
no longer reflect that.
Brad Giles 18:50
And that’s my point. And so maybe for you look at your calendar over the last week or two, how many of the appointments in your calendar or blocked out time or notes align with your quarterly, your annual your three year goals for your organization? How many? How many of the things that you’re spending your time on actually align with that. Now, let’s say that it’s 80% of the things that are in your calendar don’t align and only 20% do. And maybe what you can do is set yourself a goal to say what about if in one year’s time I can flip that on, I can have 80% of the things that are in my calendar actually align with the goals for the organization that I’m working on, rather than these ad hoc catch ups or things that are not necessarily working on the business or to use Stephen Covey’s terms are important but not urgent.
Kevin Lawrence 19:53
Mm hmm. And that ratio will depend on your role. Yeah, right. Like if you’re a CEO most of your stuff, your Working on should be one to three to five years in the future. And very strategic most like 80% Plus, right, and you’re gonna have some stuff around the day to day, but a true CEO with a capital C is forward looking and strategic most of the time. And as an executive, that will notch down a little bit as a director and notch down as a manager. You know, as a manager, you might be spending 80% of your time 20% of your time on some of this strategic stuff might actually be really good for a manager, depending on the size of the company. So it’s different based on your role. The question is, how do you get it to ideal one of the key thing a key activity, which I’ve been needing to do again, and I will in the next month or so, is to build out what your ideal calendar is? What would it be forgotten about to the constraints of today’s and I love to take people through three years in the future, because today kind of vaporizes. And so what would your ideal calendar look like? And if you look at how you’re allocating your time, and interestingly, for what it’s worth, in the field that we’re in, you know, it I ideally, to be my best have Fridays free, right? Fridays is a flexible day when I do my strategic stuff, and my thinking time and other work. But sometimes based on how stuff gets scheduled, I don’t have that flex day on Fridays. And then it’s harder for me to do all the thinking stuff and the on the business things I’d like to do. So no matter what. So no matter what I do, and how well I block my calendar, if I have, you know, time every day of the week with clients, which I love, I enjoy it. And that’s the thing, I love my time with my clients, they’re awesome, people enjoy the work, but they don’t have enough time to do my job as a leader of the firm. Right? So and that’s, and that’s problematic. So there’s by setting your ideal calendar and having an idea of what that looks like it does set you up to win another person I know when I’m in a more of a delivery role was saying something similar. They spending so much time delivery, they never get to their administration Never mind the proactive thinking. So again, everyone’s got their own version of it, and you have a good sense of what you need.
Brad Giles 22:17
Awesome. So I’m closing that out. Are you working on things that are important and not urgent? That’s the goal or things that are important and urgent. That’s where it that’s where humans just, unfortunately, get dragged into, you know, this. So Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is where that concept comes from encourage you to kind of look in there if you’re interested. Let’s move on. We’re sure. Yeah, what do we got next, Kevin? Yeah, I
Kevin Lawrence 22:53
mean, I’m wondering, we head down for number three, I don’t it doesn’t feel as relevant right now. That’s more of a productivity thing. Maybe we get a sidebar but a productivity hack. I’m in a session I was in this week, we’re talking about a great book on productivity called getting things done by David Allen. I love that a great system. Yeah, it’s a great book. It’s a lot for a lot it’s a pretty technical system. So a little much for a lot of people. But the essence is of its good but he has a phrase in there Brad and he might remember the the the right version of that phrase, but it’s basically a system for touching things once. Then the one thing I had a sort of a somewhat a filing system and out that I did I used for a while it faded away, but the thing that stuck was open up an email action right now. A piece of paper action right now. So my insurance paper comes in for insurance on a vehicle, I take a picture and instantly text it to my insurance agent who’s awesome. And then it’s handled. Right? It’s literally receipt, open it see its picture, send it say please insure it, and then it’s done. Versus Oh, I’ll send it to her later. Yeah, write things like touching things once. Now there’s a key is you can also touch things once and send it out. But it’s only half done. ie someone’s going to come back with four questions and that’s the art of touch at once and with everything that it needs. So that’s a beautiful piece around personal productivity and from very good productivity books.
Brad Giles 24:39
Yeah, yeah. I love that. David Allen’s book Getting things done it’s just yeah, read it and employed several points to that. including his filing system which is just fantastic. But let’s move on. So
Kevin Lawrence 24:53
so let’s go that we’ve done number five, which is your perfect calendar for 2020 to even like, what would it ideally look like for you? You to be your best. And, you know, in that strategic time you have what have now number six is, you know is in your calendar. It’s either short meetings or no meetings. So we go back to you said no, no agenda, no attender, and we’re no attender, whatever, you know, agenda. I love that. That’s one piece. But other things is how can you actually not even have a meeting? Like, is there a way to resolve it without meeting? You know, and sometimes, you know, some people, it’s a quick phone call, like, literally just imagine, as pick up the phone and call somebody. And what I notice is, you know, the clients of mine, that are older than I am, by default, just pick up the phone and get stuff done. Yeah. And very, very quickly, the younger people, they’re more likely to text and try which of which both can work, but at some point, is there a way we can do it without a meeting? Right? Or can we do it in a five minute meeting? I love five minute meetings. Let’s talk for five minutes, get it sorted out, move on, right? And I’m a, you know, an impatient person by nature. But basically, how do you not get into the trap of the default 30 minute or 60 minute meeting and, and avoid them if and only do them if they’re needed?
Brad Giles 26:14
They aren’t needed. They aren’t needed. I don’t I don’t really love the slack kind of communication world, which is just text. It’s just like text, text text. An interesting thing I read a couple of weeks ago was that the number of people who buy a new phone and never take it off silent, ever. It is actually skyrocketing. So people who just leave their phone on site 24, seven all the time, because they only use it for texting or the internet title as in
Kevin Lawrence 26:47
for not receiving phone calls. Yeah,
Brad Giles 26:49
it never ever reads that don’t even it just never ever reads. And that’s a societal change. That’s happened. So people are moving away from phone calls a little bit. But sometimes you can just really make a big difference. With that quick phone call. You know, you’ve got to create a high barrier to entry for your time for your calendar. Yes, it’s got to be difficult to get a meeting, they’ve got to go over a number of hurdles,
Kevin Lawrence 27:19
they need to Yes, there needs to be a process to filter it. So only the important meetings get through. That’s why in my world, you know, Janice is in my mind, my right hand is the person that sets those meetings. And she knows she needs to get a few pieces of information before she schedules me with anyone. And even when I do tell her set a meeting, I tell her whether it’s an A B or C priority, like hey, go ahead.
Brad Giles 27:44
I tell you so I was that last week, I went to a book launch something that’s quite rare where I live business book launch, even rarer, lovely book, from no to how it was called by a great guy, Adam mullet, but I met with a person, they’re really lovely guy. We were chatting and you know, he had an interesting job. And he wasn’t as he didn’t have his own business. But even if he didn’t, I don’t really do necessarily a lot of networking. In person. And I was just we were just chatting about strategic planning and stuff like that. And he said, You know, like this is I find this really interesting. I’d love to catch up for coffee one day, and I just recoiled. I was just like, Yeah, I know. I don’t do that. I yeah, like, I don’t catch up. For people that don’t know, for coffee. Like I never, never never do that because my calendar is too precious. Even if you want to work with me, I’ll be highly reluctant to meet with you. I mean, I
Kevin Lawrence 28:51
in my thing, if there’s something and if there’s I believe there’s some potential value for either party. Yeah, definitely. It’s a phone call.
Brad Giles 28:59
Kevin Lawrence 29:00
get on the phone for 15 minutes. If there still is, then we’ll set up another phone call. We’ve got a private well go to particular campaign thing he got to protect your time and your calendar and make sure what gets in it deserves to be in it. Number two, that it’s done efficiently and effectively. Yep. I and by the way, don’t be afraid to end a meeting early. If someone’s not prepared. And it’s one of the things I’ve seen, you know, if someone’s not prepared and you’re protecting your calendar, and it’s like, what if you’re finished early? Awesome. That’s great. But also if somebody isn’t prepared, okay, hey, I can see. I was expecting this to be fully laid out with ABC my you know, my miscommunication I’m sorry, maybe I didn’t make that clear enough. So how long do you need to get it together? Great. Good. So let’s plan on Thursday. I’ll see you then. Book a time.
Brad Giles 29:53
He is the thing if you turn up to a meeting and someone says Okay, so what are we here to talk about? That should be like a siren going off in the background. But that’s
Kevin Lawrence 30:02
common Brad, people don’t know. And even, even when we have strategic discussions, I do a lot of debate time with executive teams that I work with and CEOs. What are we trying to achieve with this discussion? What is the outcome that we want? By the way? We do that before so people can prepare? And then Okay, what is the action? Yeah, like what is going to happen, so we don’t waste this time. So basically, you’re gonna be very protective of your time of people that want it. But more than that, you need to pre plan the time you need for strategic things. So short meetings, or no meetings is their next point. And it’s critical. And there’s nothing like a quick call sometimes, or telling them to make the call.
Brad Giles 30:47
Yeah. Like, hey,
Kevin Lawrence 30:49
I need to talk to you about this. It’s okay. Hey, I trust you, you make the decision. And if you’re deeply concerned, tell me your two options. And we can discuss it, but I’m pretty sure you can handle this. Yeah, on certain things. Sometimes people just want too much feedback. But, you know, if we were to sum this up, Brad, if you look at your, your philosophy of art, because we all have the same amount of time, and there’s a stat of 168 hours a week that it’s the same for all of us. But if you’re looking at optimizing the time that you work, you know, what, what would be the number one message you would have for people?
Brad Giles 31:29
I would say, number one, what gets measured gets managed? And so understanding where is the slippage in your calendar, how many of the, if you were to color your calendar, imagine you printed out your calendar, and you call it at all, how many of these meetings are working on the most important things, how many of these meetings are catch ups, or superficial or someone trying to sell you something or something like that, that that are unnecessary. And then how many of those meetings could have been a quick phone call how many because a phone call, you can end after five to seven minutes, right? And meet us there is more of an obligation to go through a certain rhythm that you don’t need to? So that’s what I would say, what about yourself?
Kevin Lawrence 32:20
yeah, first of all, and in this virtual world that we work, there’s an opportunity for a lot, it’s easier to have shorter meetings. And that is the massive efficiency that I have found in these in this working digitally almost all the time, you lose some stuff. But the efficiency is is is notable, I would say is that, you know, think of your calendar, like a strategic tool. Like in my case, I’m blocked my vacations. That’s the first thing that goes in my calendar, the time for myself, and my family. And I set those times aside, that that goes in first. And then it goes into all the other things that almost an order of value. But it’s it fiercely protective of that calendar, and only letting the right things in and a lot of those niceties just aren’t needed. And again, being fiercely protective when someone wants to meet with me. Why? What are we going to cover? How long do we actually need? Right? And again, if it’s one of the CEOs I work with, it’s like, What do you need? And I’ll jump on the phone like ASAP, that’s different. Yeah, cuz I know, it’s critical that you know, that’s a different thing. That’s my that’s, you know, a key. Yeah, just being really diligent about it. And it’s almost like every meeting in your calendar costs you 100 bucks. Yeah, literally, if you think about a good energy of energetic currency, like, Don’t take it unless you know, it’s gonna be really valuable, and that the people are going to be prepared to make a good use of the time just vigilant about your calendar versus accommodating is what I would say.
Brad Giles 34:01
All right, awesome. So with that, let’s just say look after your calendar, let’s close by saying that look after your calendar. So with that, if you would like to learn more about Kevin, first of all, I encourage you to check out his book, your oxygen mask first. Also, he’s available at Lawrence and co.com. For myself, my book is called made to thrive. And my website, Brad is evolution partners.com dot a year. It’s been such a pleasure to chat to you today about your calendar, setting the right priorities. We look forward to chatting again next week to you about another interesting subject about building enduring great companies. Until then, have a great week.
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