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A billionaire without a computer

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

An entrepreneur worth about $4 billion, John Paul DeJoria runs his business em­pire without a computer. The co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems fears that a computer would stymie his productivity because he’d always be buried in emails.

DeJoria, 69, still favors the fax machine. Key executives at many of the businesses he oversees (which include Paul Mitchell and Patron Spirits) communicate with him via frequent faxes.

He also uses the phone, but in an old-fashioned way. Rather than rely on a computer to store contact information, he has kept his own phone book for 15 years that’s “filled with Wite-Out and rewrites,” he says. It accompanies him on all his business trips—he travels about half of every month.

Regardless of his whereabouts, ­DeJoria has a daily morning ritual as soon as he awakes: he stays in bed for about five minutes and engages in calm, unhurried reflection.

Soon after he strolls into his home office, his assistant (who works out of his Austin home) gives DeJoria a list of calls he must make that day. This helps him prepare and prioritize.

To maximize his time, DeJoria selects a few high-value issues to focus on. In managing Paul Mitchell, for example, he’ll check on key metrics related to the beauty schools, product sales and manufacturing processes. He’ll also review new product launches, advertising campaigns and employee satisfaction data.

— Adapted from “The Way I Work,” Liz Welch, Inc.

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