Book Club: Time Management For Executives

For more than 30 years I have been president and owner of Harvard Maintenance. As my peers know, being owners of service businesses, we are responsible for a large number of employees, as well as satisfying our clients’ needs. It’s a lot to manage all at once.

Laura Stack conveys key points in her book, “Doing The Right Things Right: How The Effective Executive Spends Time,” that can make any executive and business successful. Stack stresses the importance of efficiency and effectiveness on a daily basis and homes in on a number of key points that have proved to deliver positive results and success for any business and executives at any level.

There are 12 “vital practices” that Stack focuses on throughout her book. These synergistic practices are the core of her management approach. She has grouped these practices into three parts called the “Three T’s,” which are: Think, Team and Tactic.

“Think” incorporates goals, change, communication and decision making. As an executive, you have to ask yourself (multiple times a day), “What is the desired outcome?” There must be a clear and concise goal and vision in place. Once the goal is set, the strategy and tactics begin, followed by the enforcement and execution of said plan. Aligning your team’s goals and beliefs is crucial in completing these tasks.

“Team” requires environment, performance, motivation and growth. The executive creates a receptive risk-taking culture (yes, this may seem scary but must be done), which focuses on outcomes, and motivates employees to strive for greatness both professionally and personally.

Finally, “Tactic” involves value, technology, agility and balance. It is the executive’s responsibility for ensuring that direct reports complete their tasks. Managing this area involves using technology in a controlled and deliberate way, while embracing continuous improvement and ongoing education for each contributor.

An executive is someone who “executes” — they make things happen. The decisions you make for your organization are based on your core values, which are the backbone of your organization. For example, Harvard prides itself on its “Inverted Pyramid” where employees are at the top, exemplifying their importance with regard to client satisfaction. Each decision made by our executives are done with this concept in mind.

Follow Stack’s 12 vital practices to take care of your employees — success will be that much easier to come by.

Stan Doobin
Owner and President
Harvard Maintenance, Inc.

"Doing The Right Things Right" by Laura Stack

In order to be effective, business executives must identify and achieve the best objectives for their companies. But they need to accomplish this efficiently, meaning in the fastest, easiest and cheapest ways possible. If executives aren’t doing the right things and doing them the right way, it’s all just a waste of time.

In “Doing The Right Things Right,” published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers, author Laura Stack offers advice on better time management, gleaned from her 25 years of experience working with global business leaders.