Toto Wolff is the team principal and 30% owner of Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team. Having in the period 2014-16 won triple world championships in both the driver and constructor category, Mercedes under his leadership is without doubt the most successful Formula 1 team of the current generation. Following the retirement of Nico Rosberg at the end of last year, Mercedes have just appointed Valtteri Bottas as Nico's replacement. Toto's statement to the press on this is as ever full of insight into management at the highest level. This is what he said.
Do mission statements want to make you puke? In part, this is because it has become established doctrine that every company should have one but many are simply platitudes about being the best blah blah blah. But a proper mission statement signals exactly what a company wants to achieve, and in that sense should define the purpose for every employee to turn up to work every day. Jack Welch, legendary business leader even suggests:
a mission is the defining moment for a company's leadership
Bernie Ecclestone, the billionaire who controls Formula 1 is a man who knows about winning. Bernie, who is so often good for quotes, once said:
Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser.
Time and again winners talk about the 'winning whatever it takes' mindset, but I have already argued many times on this blog about how strong ethical values are so important for those who wish to achieve the greatest success. Can the two be reconciled? Can you be a winner without compromising your core values?
Management stuff, it can seem nice in principle but in a busy world, do you really need to do it, after all, subordinates have to do what you tell them right? Wells Fargo, one of the largest banks in America has found out the hard way the downside to this approach. The results of poor management have been devastating: employees have lost their jobs, the stock price has plummeted, the CEO retired early and in shame, regulators have fined the bank $185m for misconduct and the company is being sued by ex-employees for $2,5bn. Some customers meanwhile are now refusing to do business with the bank. And it all could have been so easily avoided.
Professor Richard Wiseman suggests that 24% of people identify themselves as chronic procrastinators while humorously adding that this probably underestimates the scale of the problem since many others delayed filling in the form. Managing your time efficiently and doing tasks in a timely fashion is critical in business, so how do you prioritise your to-do list efficiently? The Eisenhower Matrix can help.