On managing emails
I have young children who need to be at school early so I get into the office at 7:30. The rest of the team works 9am to 6pm in order to avoid traffic, so I have a good hour of peace and quiet at the start of each day.
I go through emails from the previous day and those that have come in overnight, mainly from the US. I turn off my Internet connection during this time so I am not distracted by new emails. I don’t like to be dictated to by whatever email has most recently landed in my inbox. I prefer to prioritise them myself.
On getting a snapshot of important issues
Our team holds one to two short standing meetings in the War Room every day. There are no chairs and the walls are covered with charts and whiteboards which gives us an instant visual overview of all events, projects and objectives.
While all of this information is eventually transferred electronically, it’s useful to have it in a physical, visual form. Because we’re standing, these sessions take no more than ten minutes and are very focused.
On managing my diary
I colour-code my diary for different things – meetings, presentations, travel, things with my kids. It gives me a visual picture of my day.
On balancing work and family
One of the best things about being an entrepreneur is that I can be there for important events with my kids. I put these in my diary and treat them like any other meeting. I’m open with clients about the reasons why I am not available during those times.
On staying connected with team members
We have a three-hour status meeting every Monday morning to brainstorm and strategise. It starts with something called ’In the Flow‘, which I learnt from Debbie Goodman at Jackhammer Executive Search. Each team member has a chance to give feedback on:
- Yesterday’s best thing
- Most interesting thing I learnt last week
- What I am grateful for
- My random act of kindness
- What I’m looking forward to
- What’s working well so far
- What we could be doing better
This gives us a barometer of where everyone is personally, it allows everyone to be listened to and heard and allows us to see where we can all improve.
On managing calls and meetings
I use a tool I learnt through Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO). I open every call or meeting asking how much time the other party has and what their expectations are, and stating my expectations. Then I wrap up with a synopsis of what was decided and an action list for each party.
On a strategy for shoes
I wear patent leather pumps which allow me to run everywhere and then I slip on my very smart high heels just before going in to see a client. It’s one of my secrets. Happy to share!
Claim to fame
Jones is a founding board member for South Africa Chapter at Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO) and the co-founder and executive creative director at Morrisjones Allvertising.
Founder and CEO, Homecoming Revolution.