“You must know what is important and what is not,” begins Linda Hollander. Now, if you think that is just the obvious response to any question, keep reading. Linda Hollander, is CEO of Wealthy Bag Lady, founder of Women’s Small Business Expo, and author of Bags to Riches. When you talk with Linda, you know that you are talking to someone who has a lot of experience and has thought things through. Her advice is sound and grounded.
The topic was how to assure that you are getting the right information to do your job and not become overwhelmed with all that is out there. Linda takes it from the executive perspective – for herself and for her staff. (Yes, executives must keep themselves current as much if not more than others.)
1. Make a careful selection of the topics you really need. That means thinking about your business and what information will alert you to trends in your industry, what the competition is doing, and new possibilities for the business. This is the first and the most important step to do. Like any journey, if you start in the wrong direction, you won’t ever get to your destination. The topics also need to be focused. For example, two of Linda’s topics are women in business and women corporate sponsors. She narrows in to her target market to track what is happening.
2. Get your information in bite-sized pieces with links for more. Time is just too precious, and as executive, you need to see the broad brush strokes of what is happening. Then, when you see something of particular value, zero in and use the extra time to get the details. The broad brush look gives you the general picture from which a great deal can be attained, but every now and then, there is something that demands a closer look. Linda uses Google Alerts to do the work of finding and reporting the information to her in small bite-sized pieces with links for more. She still reads books and magazines, but the daily view comes through the alerts.
3. Keep staff enrolled in your vision. Linda is clear and says, “You must give clear expectations of goals, vision to your staff. Every time I meet with them, I explain it again, because keeping them enrolled in my vision is all about their empowerment.” She uses every meeting along with daily emails and conversation by phone for those at a distance.
4. Assemble four teams to assure knowledge is available and flowing. Linda defines four teams that each executive should have ready. (a) The mentor team – those people who are models for success to whom you aspire. (b) The ‘you-can-do-it’ team – family and friends who can give you reminders when you need them. (c) The investor team – your banker, corporate sponsors, and individuals. (d) The professional team – your attorney, accountant, business coach, and consultant.
Great advice from a great CEO who knows it takes a whole strategy to have the information and knowledge you need to run a successful business – or career.
Have you identified the important topics that you must review each and every day? What techniques do you use to peruse these topics that save time as you do so? If you’re in business, what’s your strategy for keeping your staff up to date?
Photo by .EVO.