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brand book bite: 15 secrets successful people know about time management

– the book:  15 Secrets Successful People Know about Time Management: The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs — Even though people tell me I’m one of the most productive, focused, self-managed people they know, I thought I might learn a thing or two from this book and I certainly did!

– the brain:  Kevin Kruse, a NYT best-selling author, successful entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and a dear friend and role model to me.  He’s an expert on leadership and employee engagement, but he took a slight detour of sorts to write this book about time management and in our interview, we talk about why.

– the best bits:  15 Secrets Successful People Know about Time Management contains many more than 15 tips — it’s chock full of tips, tricks, tools and advice, including:

“Time is your most valuable and scarcest resource.”

“Say no to everything that doesn’t support your immediate goals.”

“Batch your work with recurring themes for different days of the week.”

But more than pithy advice, the book provides very practical ways to implement time saving techniques.  For example, Kevin reports that highly successful people don’t keep to-do lists.  Instead they schedule tasks on their calendar.  I tried this and had some success — it’s taking me awhile to properly estimate the amount of time it will take me to complete tasks, but I’ll keep at it because it’s already made a difference in my ability to prioritize.

15 Secrets also includes revealing stories, awesome quotes (my fave:  Mark Cuban‘s “Never take meetings unless someone is writing a check.“), applications for different types of people, the actual contributions from those 239 entrepreneurs — and a bonus of 110 great time management quotes.

– the brand story:  This book is yet another departure from my usual books about brand-building and business strategy and so there is no real “brand story” here, but I wanted to share it with you because I know many of you share my desire to learn the successful practices of the people who lead the brands and organizations we admire.

Personally I have learned so much by studying and reading about the Virgin brand and the way Richard Branson has grown it to 400+ companies.  In this book, we learn about Richard’s:

  • most important possession:  a little notebook — “I could never have built the Virgin Group into the size it is without those few bits of paper.”
  • approach to meetings:  do them standing up — “I find it to be a much quicker way of getting down to business, making a decision, and sealing the deal.
  • time saving secret:  an aversion to meetings — “It’s very rare that a meeting on a single topic should need to last more than 5-10 minutes.

I think it’s fair to say that the Virgin brand was built on these disciplines.

– the bottom line:   Kevin serves up the 15 Secrets Successful People Know about Time Management in bite-sized pieces that, in themselves, reflect streamlined, focused productivity.  I’m pretty sure everyone can — and should — get something out of it.

Listen to my conversation with Kevin to learn:

  • what all ultraproductive people have in common
  • why a morning routine is important, even if you’re not a morning person
  • how great leadership doesn’t take a lot of time

other brand book bites:

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