1: Choose the right priorities
We have all come across the breed of manager who is constantly in fire-fighting mode. Responding to situations in the here and now, instead of constructively engaging in tomorrow’s business processes. Stephen Covey’s Eisenhower Matrix illustrates how to prioritise tasks in relation to their importance and urgency. When Ton Büchner joined AkzoNobel in 2012 as the new CEO, operations were dominated by bank loans being taken out to pay dividends. Büchner shifted the company’s focus and introduced his Three Laws: safety, integrity and sustainability. Five years after joining the company, the stock price has doubled and AkzoNobel is able to pay the dividend from its own assets, dispensing of the need for loans. Büchner did not allow himself to be swayed by the issues of the day, but worked on things that were really important. And it paid off!