These days top execs feel like prisoners of their own calendars.
“I’m locked in,” says Daniel Vasella, CEO of Novartis AG. His calendar is booked nearly solid for months.
Other CEOs are equally strapped, leaving little time for the spontaneity so necessary for mulling over and solving problems.
Kathleen Murphy, CEO of ING US Wealth , spends about 60% of her time traveling. So when she is back at her office, she must find a way to catch up quickly.
Her solution: She schedules meetings in half-hour intervals during her 12-hour workdays.
“I ask pointed questions to make sure [subordinates] know I’m focused on what is driving the business,” she says. “It’s not about keeping them on their toes but about having meetings that matter.”
The crucial element for surviving a busy schedule, she says, is a competent team to which you can delegate important jobs.
—Adapted from “Packed Calendars Rule Over Executives,” Carol Hymowitz, The Wall Street Journal.