4 Corners Offense of Time Management
Situation: Bob was always missing deadlines on pipeline reports. In addition to that he recently allowed a lead from a referral to slip through the crack. Just recently Sue, Bills Sales Leader, received a call from one of their better clients who’s name was John. John asked, “What was going on with the referral he gave Sue that she passed off to Bob”. Sue was embarrassed by the fact that Bob lost the contact information. Sue went on to explain the situation to John. John was very sympathetic provided the information a second time and mentioned that similar situations have occurred with his sales team.
Problem: When you measure Bob’s behavioral style he comes out with a high D for a directive profile. A high directive D has a high focus on results, they emphasize the task and they want those results now. Bob fits this profile very well and he also has a tendency to add way too much on his plate. In addition his “Need for Approval” in sales situations is extremely high so he tends to not know how to say no. Sue has a real coaching issue on her hand. The challenge was production. Bob’s performance while not the best of the sales team is certainly above average. Sue knew Bob was an avid college basketball fan. This made her think of providing Bob the story about the four corners offense of time management.
Prescription Sue explained this in philosophical terms to Bob. She said, “The four corners of Time Management Strategy, is all about making a better choice in the moment so one can become more effective”. This strategy becomes one of many best practice processes to planning and organizing your life. The big payback for individuals, teams and organizations from these best practice processes comes in when you apply them to tool boxes like Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, GroupWise or any CRM software program in an effort to create organizational consistency around planning and organizing.
Sue went on the outline each of the four corners. The first corner in this strategy is called Do it Now. The second corner is titled Decide When. The third corner is titled Delegate and the fourth corner is named Delete/ Dump.
- Do it Now
- Decide When (date Activate)
- Delegate it
- Delete Dump it
The one four corners tactic with the greatest impact for Bob’s Directive behavior style is “Decide When”. Sue asked Bob,” to think in terms of a 90 degree angle and to draw two lines on a piece of paper. On the vertical axis is all the 50 or so “to do’s” or what I call doable details. Each doable detail represents an X on the vertical axis line. Intersect the vertical line at 90 degrees with a horizontal line at the top. Above the horizontal axis line one writes in seven names of the week Sunday to Saturday.
Now instead of building a vertical what to do list on the vertical axis line you will slow down in the moment of choice and ask yourself these questions: what is this doable detail and when do I need to do it and where do I store it till I need it? For example in the moment of choice on Friday morning you realize this is a memo that you need to reply to and write to Steve on Tuesday. Therefore, you move this doable detail to Tuesday’s list. Next you ask where you want to store the information till it is needed again? Since it is an e-mail you can insert it into to Steve’s contact record notes section or insert a hyperlink in the notes section. The net effect is you now have a horizontal when to do list versus a vertical what to do list.
Think about the power of using this best practice process of date activating into a tool box like Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, Novel GroupWise or any CRM software program. One can get a sense that just using one of the four corner tactics like decide when, will allow you to make better choices in the moment, by slowing down to speed up. At the same time it gives you an opportunity to rapidly retrieve information from the future across the horizontal when to do list. This impact becomes even greater when one applies the best practice process of prioritizing the when to do list based on importance, highest values and urgency.
Working Smart With Microsoft Outlook
Working Smart with Lotus Notes