5 Daily Behaviors for 2017

tempThe calendar says 2017.  Unfortunately, far too many of our leaders are leading as if it is 5, 10, 20, even 30 years ago.

Old-fashioned leadership and work styles and out dated, time consuming, and all but useless leadership behaviors are preventing many of our companies from moving forward to be competitive in today’s day and age.

To assist those of us still living in the past and to remind the rest of us, I offer up a list of five behaviors that leaders (and everyone else) can do to be more effective at getting things done and driving our teams and businesses to success.

I welcome your additions to this list.


  • Go Completely Paperless

    • With smartphones, I Pads, laptops, E-Mail, texting, and eDocument Signing, we should banish paper completely from our business.  The advantage is that now everything is stored, backed up, searchable, and accessible wherever we are.

  • Re-consider the Meeting

    • We all need to dramatically reduce the number of group meetings and conference calls.  We should have them only when there is a full (and written) agenda
    • Instead, we should institute short (5 – 10 minute) one on one meetings
      • Standing meetings
      • Walking meetings
    • Shorten those meetings that we do have and leave when the time is up
      • The 30 minute meeting can last 20 – 25 minutes.  The hour long meeting can last 50 minutes
      • Such shortening forces attendees to avoid the useless chit chat at the beginning of most meetings and get to the agenda immediately.
      • Further, it allows the meeting organizer 5 – 10 minutes to write up and send out a meeting recap and action items immediately after the meeting


  • Less and Better Communication

    • We need to only communicate what is essential. All too often, we communicate what our teams might need to know sometime in the future.  Doing so just dilutes the effect of communicating what they really do need to know.
      • In short, we should move from ‘just in case’ communication to essential ‘just in time’ communication.
      • This will significantly reduce the barrage of E-Mails that clutters In-Boxes and distracts our teams
    • Shorten all written work
      • We should insist on one page (and no longer) reports, summaries or analyses.
        • With one page, only the essential can be communicated. As such, it is not overwhelming and can be acted upon and completed
        • Any more than one page, is just too much and inevitably includes too many action items
    • Create shorter deadlines so that the work can get done immediately
    • Reduce the number of times we communicate
      • Bundle communication wherever possible. Instead of five calls and/ or five E-Mails each about one issue, have one call or one E-Mail about all five issues
      • By waiting to communicate, many issues that appeared urgent are revealed to be much less urgent
      • This also reduces the number of distractions that our team gets from us
    • Set up and follow communication rules that allow our teams to get work done and to have a life.
      • As an example, we might set up the following rules for our teams:
        • If you are in a meeting, you do not have to answer my phone call unless I call, hang up and then call again (that would mean it is an emergency).
        • Likewise, I may not answer your phone unless you call, hang up and call again
        • If it is an emergency, I will (and you should) always call or text.
        • You do not have to answer my E-Mails immediately. But, you need to return my calls promptly (and always within one day).  I will do the same.
        • You do not need to answer E-Mails at night or over the weekend. I will not be answering mine.  If you need me over the weekend, then call.
        • When calling, always leave a substantive message with all the details, so that I can reflect upon the message before calling back.


  • Block Out Time

    • Multi-tasking has been repeatedly proven to be a myth with the multi-tasking worker far less productive than the worker that focuses on one task for a set period of time – the mono-tasker.
    • So, we need to create block-out times for ourselves and respect the block out times for our teams
    • This could be a 1 – 2 hour time period where the door is closed so that the most important work can get done.


  • Work Harder not Longer

    • In too many businesses today, we have “long workers.” That is, employees who work long hours, but never seem to get anything done between the breaks, meetings, chit chats, lunches, web surfing, and multi-tasking
    • Instead, we must set the example and insist that our team be “hard workers.” Getting in to the office, getting their work done, and then going home in eight or at most nine hours.
    • Likewise, we need to insist that our team take weekends off and take their vacations. Research today continually shows the importance of time off, rest and relaxation for producing better and more creative work as well as reducing stress and enhancing personal life.
      • If we are true “hard workers” for 40 – 45 hours a week, we will need the recuperative power of weekends and vacations to function effectively.

I welcome your additional thoughts on effective daily behaviors for 2017.


About David Shedd

David has been a President - CEO - COO of an up to $350M group of manufacturing, distribution, specialty retail and services companies, having led 22 different businesses from turnarounds to start-ups to fast growth companies.
This entry was posted in Improve / Turnaround, Perform / Execution, Personal Success and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 5 Daily Behaviors for 2017

  1. Is there a function for chit chat, say, building esprit de corps — or do you set up special meetings for team building?

  2. David Shedd says:

    Excellent question. Yes, there needs to be time for building teamwork and interacting. But, formal meetings in a conference room are rarely the best way to do that. As you suggest, leaders should set up other activities – lunches, off-sites, one-on-one walks, etc. – to build and develop personal relations and teamwork.

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