Peter Bregman is the CEO of Bregman Partners, Inc., a company that strengthens leadership in people and in organizations through leadership programs, coaching, and as a consultant to CEOs and their leadership teams. He is the author, most recently, of Four Seconds: All the Time You Need to Stop Counter-Productive Habits and Get the Results You Want.
SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the main challenges and opportunities faced today in leading and building effective teams?
BREGMAN: Getting out of silo thinking. If you’re on a team, it’s a pretty good bet that an essential component is thinking – and acting – from a larger perspective than your own fiefdom. The higher you are in the organization, the more you need to operate from the perspective of the whole. That’s one of the main challenges we face – and it’s also one of our biggest opportunities – with a huge payoff.
SPEAKING.COM: How would you suggest people embrace time management principles in order to become more efficient and focused in our professional lives?
BREGMAN: Our biggest challenge is not getting more done – it’s getting the right things done. There’s never been a time when it is so easy to get distracted from the things that are most important to us and to our organizations.
I would say that the first thing to do is to get super clear on what’s most important – what are the top 4 or 5 areas in which you want to spend 95% of your time. Then structure your year, weeks, days, and hours around those things. It’s actually pretty quick to do that – and again, the payoff is massive.
SPEAKING.COM: Can you give us four tips for getting more of the right things done?
1) Identify your top 5 areas of focus.
2) Spend a few minutes each morning, transferring your most important tasks for the day from your to do list to your calendar. If it’s on your calendar, you’ll do it. if it’s not, you probably won’t.
3) Spend a few minutes in the evening looking back on your day – what worked, what didn’t, how do you want to plan tomorrow.
4) Set your watch or phone to beep every hour and ask yourself two questions when it goes off: am I doing what I most need to be doing right now and am I being who I most want to be right now?
SPEAKING.COM: What do you want people to learn / take away from your presentations?
BREGMAN: How the gap between getting what we want – and just wanting it – is usually surprisingly small. A few small changes in our behavior – in what we do and say – can make a huge difference in how productive we are and how effectively we move our organizations forward.
SPEAKING.COM: What are some of the successes you’ve helped clients make?
BREGMAN: I’ve literally seen stock prices go up – I know that might sound like a tall story – but it’s true. If the right people are in the room, and they catch on to an idea, and they have the rank or personal power in the organization to spread it – it will impact bottom line results.
SPEAKING.COM: How much do case studies, personal stories and or humor factor into your keynote speech content?
BREGMAN: Almost everything I write about and speak about is related to my personal experiences – failures (many of them) and successes. My personal stories – along with a healthy dose of research – factor in a lot.
SPEAKING.COM: What other projects are you working on currently?
BREGMAN: I run a Leadership Intensive program which is about deep leadership impact – it’s four days and it has a powerful impact and I love it. It’s about emotional courage – the willingness to take risky actions in the service of high aspirations.
If you’d like to bring Peter to your organization to help your leadership team become more productive and effective, please contact Michael Frick at: Mike@Speaking.com.