Most people have heard this story, but it is worth repeating because the information is as relevant today as it was in the early 1900’s. Ivy Lee called on Charles Schwab offering to help him manage the Bethlehem Steel Company better. Schwab was used to offers like this and flatly responded that he wasn’t "managing as well as I know how". He offered to pay Ivy anything he asked if he would teach him how to take action on the things he already knew he needed to do. Ivy pulled out a 3×5 sheet and said to write down the six most important tasks he needed to do tomorrow and to number them in order of importance. The next day, Schwab was to start at the top and work his way down the list, checking it every 15 minutes to make sure he was doing what he was supposed to be doing. Ivy explained that if he didn’t complete his tasks in this fashion, he wouldn’t be able to complete them anyway. A few weeks later, Schwab sent Ivy a check for $25,000 with a note saying it was the most profitable monetary lesson he had ever learned. Using this tactic, Schwab personally made $100 million dollars and became the most recognized steel mogul of his era.
With inflation, that $25,000 in 1916 would be worth $482,057.34 at the end of 2007! With the constant connection of emails, phones and Blackberrys, Sales by 5 has modified the top 6 into the Top 3 Daily Priorities.
So start your day with your top 3 daily priorities and don’t move to #2 until #1 is complete and so on. You always have 3 priorities!