You might be a successful business leader, but it is then likely that you also work between 50 and 70 hours per week, and that you feel completely burned out. This leads to people hitting the wall and productivity eventually hitting a plateau. For Infor CEO Charles Phillips, the solution is to treat work both as master and mistress, effectively combining work and pleasure. To demonstrate how this works, he has shared five specific secrets.
- Efficiency and Effectiveness Are not the Same Thing
Busy people tend to be far less productive. They should, instead, learn to manage their time properly, and they should be proactive in terms of their workload, rather than reactive. Anticipating future struggles and conflicts can help lower stress levels, making people both efficient and effective.
- People Are Your Main Asset
True leaders should spend 20% of their total time by listening to what their teams say. Not talking, but listening. It is about creating relationships in which staff members feel involved, included, engaged, and respected. This is something Charles Phillips has implemented, for instance, by removing all doors from his office, sitting the entire team around a single table instead.
- Your Second Most Important Asset Is You
You must invest in your own PMSS (physical, mental, social, and spiritual) wellbeing. If you feel stressed and imbalanced, it is likely that that all the different hats you wear in your life – parent, spouse, boss, friend – do not cover those four umbrellas or, if they do, very unequally. Making improvements in your PMSS, ensuring you are balanced in each of the four areas, will make you happier, healthier, and more productive overall.
- Your Team Is Made of Leaders, not Followers
Although Charles Phillips has a military background, he is known for his personal touch in all his management activities. He believes that everybody could be a leader, and supports them in becoming that. He treats his staff on an equal footing, answering his own emails, managing his own diary, and even sending all his staff members personal emails to congratulate them on certain achievements and milestones. In so doing, he ensures his team is made up of leaders, not mindless followers who can’t be trusted to make their own decisions to benefit the company. Leaders need to act with confidence and assertiveness. A useful resource for people that struggle with assertiveness is this guide from Acuity Training.
- Automation Is About People, Process, and System
You must think about how you get work done, and that is about a lot more than you IT systems. You need to clearly define the behaviors that are expected of your people, and they need to know exactly what the proper process is of getting things done. Systems are vital, particularly for a tech company like Infor, but it is how it is used, and by whom, that truly matters if you want to achieve true automation.
With these five secrets, top CEOs are able to take their companies to the next level and experienced continuously sustainable growth, without burning themselves out in the process of doing this.