Managers. Can You Hear Me Now? and Email DistractionOne concept mentioned in the Now Habit is how we make problems more difficult than they are (I partly bring up the Now Habit again due to the wrong credit I gave earlier this week). The analogy that sticks in my head is "imagine walking 20 ft on a 2 by 6 laying on the ground (no trick here- on the wide side). Now image walking across the same 2 by 6 strung between 2 sky scrapers. We often make jobs difficult in our minds in a similar way."
I read Denny Strigl's new book "Managers, Can You Hear Me Now? Hard Hitting Lessons to Get Real Results.". Strigl is the former CEO of Verizon (and no, I do not yet know him).
The first chapter starts with "Why Managers Struggle". Things like failing to build trust and integrity, wrong focus, no accountability etc.
It then quickly moves into 8 other short chapters focusing around one key manager trait. My favourite chapter is on managing distractions (this is almost time management or at least a part of it). "The more managers focus on distractions, the less they focus on results".
And of course that chapter starts with email - the greatest efficiency tool in recent years and the greatest inefficiency as well. He has a list of how to manage email that is as good as any I have seen (there is always duplication in how to do it right).
His managing email list (paraphrased in some cases):
- keep emails short (those who know me, know I have this one down well)
- do not send to a group if only one person needs to know
- never send an email when you are angry
- before replying or even reading an email ask "what is the worst that could happen if I delete this"
- do not spend more than 5 minutes dealing with one email
- if your email beeps, turn off the beep
- do not judge how much you have accomplished by how many emails you send
- if you do not think you can go into a meeting without peeking at your email, skip the meeting
It is a good book for leaders and managers alike.