One capability every leader needs to master is being able to manage their time, BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie says.
Discussing critical leadership skills with PwC, Mackenzie said time management is top of the list because it’s required to stay in touch with and manage stakeholders.
“I think because of an expectation to manage a huge group of stakeholders, sometimes people boast about this as the great breadth of the CEO’s role, but it’s also a trap,” he said.
“To make sure you are really in service of those people and working for them, you do have to be able to say no to a lot of other voices that say this is what a CEO should do.”
To achieve this, he said a CEO’s time should be allocated in the same way the company’s capital is.
“The choices of how you allocate your time and being able to allocate your time as much as possible in the way you allocate capital with a view of returns and net present value and being prepared to let things drop, be prepared to not do things which are quite valuable, but actually not as valuable as the things you would give up to do them, has to be a skill,” he said.
“I can go out of this room and create a to-do list for a hundred years. And that to-do list will always be there. And in another hundred years’ time there’ll still be another to-do list for another hundred years of great ideas, all value positive.
“It’s how you pick the few ideas from that and do them very, very well. So I think time management is a skill that people need to take more seriously as a leader.”
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