True, Fun + Interesting: On Ivy Lee + Productivity, Prince Charles and Wine, Boredom
Edition#3 on True, Fun + Interesting. Providing you with general knowledge and insights right on time for the weekend.
True Story: Ivy Lee and the Productivity Method
Ivy Lee, a businessman and public relations pioneer, consulted for some of the world’s largest industrial firms. Most notably known for consulting the Rockefeller family, Lee would transform companies, increasing their efficiency and performance. The Ivy Lee Method began in 1918, when the owner of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Charles Schwab, sought out Lee to improve productivity in the organisation.
“How can I get more things done efficiently?” Schwab said.
Lee responded, “Give me fifteen minutes with your top executives”.
“What’s the cost?” Schwab asked.
“Nothing at all,” Lee said. “If it works, send me a cheque for whatever you feel the improvement was worth. If you didn’t improve, send me nothing”.
Three months later, Schwab noticed a significant improvement in the companies productivity by using a simple method. Ivy Lee told the executives “At the end of the night, write down your most important tasks to do the following day, listing in order of importance. When the next day arrives, work on those tasks in order of value.”
Schwab gave Lee a cheque for $25,000 (Worth $425,000 today).
(In Monday’s article, I’ll talk about how we can use the Ivy Lee Method to perform better in our careers and personal life)
Fun Fact: On Prince Charles
Queen Elizabeth gifted Prince Charles an Aston Martin for his 21st Birthday. In a documentary with the BBC, Charles explained how he loved driving his car in the ’70s. But since becoming an environmentalist, he worked with Aston Martin and their engineers, converting the engine to run off wine. Charles said, “It smells delicious as you’re driving”.
Interesting: On Boredom
“It’s much easier to strive for perfection when you are never bored” – Daniel Kahneman.
**I’ve been reading Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking, Fast and Slow. A great book with a lifetime’s worth of wisdom inside. Highly recommend it. Interestingly enough, Kahneman won the Nobel Peace Price for Economics in 2002.