A few months ago, a new investment banking client tried to tell me about some “great meetings” he had.
I laughed, and then I told him why.
At Goldman one of my bosses used to say, “Don’t tell me about your sweaty handshakes. Tell me when you bring home the bacon.”
He wasn’t kidding!
He could obviously see that a great meeting was a crucial step to driving revenues, but he didn’t care.
Don’t bark. Bite.
“If you had some great meetings, then show me how said great meetings are getting you more of what you want,” I asked my client.
Thomas Edison said, “Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration.”
I encouraged him to see that we have a limited number of productive hours each day, and you must be focused on shifting your time to its highest value use.
It might be true that he had some great meetings, but how much business was in that busyness?
“Less than 1% at best,” he said.
This is common in my experience working with even the best executives—most can cut out 1-2 hours of low-value activities every day. Seriously!
But many don’t because, truth is, it is easier to just do what is in front of you than to constantly step back and ask yourself—What is the highest value use of my time?
With my client we went deep into his client list and began building a simple but thorough spreadsheet to amp up his intelligence for driving business.
Every day he comes back to this spreadsheet and every week we go through name-by-name designing specific strategies for hypnotizing his clients.
As you know, the most successful people aren’t those who work the hardest. They are masters of doing the hard things that drive the most value.