The to do lists are getting shorter

Turkish CEOS have an average of 3-5 items on their lists.

1.04.2012 00:00:000
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The to do lists are getting shorter
Steve Jobs used to focus on 6-8 items. Anne Mulcahy, the former CEO of Xerox, used to set herself only three main targets. When she worked at e-Bay, Meg Whitman, the CEO of HP, used to advise managers to concentrate on just five topics. Experts think that a five-item To-Do list is ideal. Turkish CEOS have an average of 3-5 items on their lists. In 2012, the top items on the CEOs' lists were healthy growth, profitability and sustainability.

What is the first item?

The CEOs' main focus, and the first and most essential item on their To Do lists, is a healthy growth plan because this sets companies' future projections. Anadolu Holding Board Chair and CEO Tuncay Özilhan stresses that they work towards the same goal in the different sectors in which they are active. Özilhan says that there are six items on the list of things he has set himself to achieve this year. "The first item on my list is ensuring the successful integration of Efes and SAB Miller and securing healthy growth here. Other priorities include continuing healthy growth in our finance group and continuing growth in Coca-Cola İçecek." SOCAR Türkiye CEO and Petkim Board Director Kenan Yavuz is focusing on HR planning, competitiveness and growth plans and the item he believes is most important is monitoring the effectiveness of the investment projects that have been planned and completing them on time.
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Designed for changing conjunctures
Whether one likes it or not, the main items on To Do lists change every year according to conjunctures. For example, profitability tops the list for Index Group CEO Erol Bilecik. Bilecik uses a different method to compile his list. "Every year, from 15 December I try to develop a list of 10 targets for the coming year. Five of these are basic business targets and the other five are those which, even if I don't attach as much importance to them as to the others. A CEO's list should have at least five items and at most ten." Sarkuysan CEO Hayrettin Çaycı is careful to draw up his list taking into account the global balances for the year. In 2012, he is working on four main headings, new product projects, human resources, new export markets and improving costs. "I believe that if a CEO's annual targets are going to be realistic they should not exceed five," he says.

Sustainability on the agenda
Time management means that CEOs have to restrict their lists. "In fact, time is the most important resource. I definitely work on establishing a timetable for the subjects which I prioritize," says Novartis Türkiye Country Head Güldem Berkman, adding that this year she will devote most of her time to sustainability and ensuring internal productivity in the company.


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