10 Leaders and the Surprising Ways They Stay Productive

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Gary E. McCullough: Give People Exactly Half the Time They Ask for

A former captain in the U.S. Army, McCullough grasps efficiency—and the value of being brief, clear, and to the point. Now as the CEO of Career Education Corp., he asks others to respect it as well. In a 2009 interview with The New York Times, McCullough offered this tip: “When people ask me for time, they generally don't need the time that they ask for. So my assistant asks people, 'How much time do you need?' If they say an hour, we cut it in half. If they say 30 minutes, we cut it to 15, because it forces people to be clearer and more concise. By doing that, I'm able to cram a number of things into the day and move people in and out more effectively and more efficiently.”