Archive for February, 2016

Email Management Strategies From Top CEOs – Week 7

Over the last few weeks, we’ve shown you how some Top CEOs manage their email. Not inspired yet? Well, here are some general tips you can use to manage your email:


  1. Get rid of the junk. Of my average 400 emails per day, easily a third are spam. The rest are important messages I want to address in some manner.So I use the “Junk” file to capture most spam and scan it quickly twice a day.
  1. Set up smart folders. About 25 percent of my emails are some sort of advertising or less important notifications to which I stay subscribed.In less than 10 minutes you can tell your email program to automatically move them into a specific smart folder. Then you can limit your perusal of that folder to once a day or at your leisure.
  1. Use the cloud.Rather than storing these files on a single computer, I store them in the cloud so I can access them anytime, anywhere. If you learn how to use simple sort and search features you can easily find any recent or old email by subject or sender.
  1. A clear day means a clear mind. If you make it a point to look at everything within 24 hours you’ll have fewer surprises and less frustration.It’s not always possible to make a full reply immediately, especially if it’s a low priority request that you can’t delegate. But when a request or notification is read, simply ask if they can connect with you the next day.  By putting the onus on them, they’ll remind you or manage the problem themselves.


Next week we’ll show you a few more tips you can use to manage your email process, so stay tuned!

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Frontier’s Fitness Initiative: How we plan to tackle fitness in the workplace.

One undeniable truth is that a company’s greatest asset is its employees. This is something that we choose to strongly believe in. As such, we’ve implemented policies like flexible work hours (where employees can work at hours (or places) that suit them) and even a choice-based environment (where employees are empowered with self-management, rather than micro-management). However, in recent times, we’ve come to realise that because a lot of our work is sedentary, it leaves much to be desired in terms of staying healthy.

Our CEO, Amal Sanderatne, holds staying healthy as an important part of his life (and an important use of his time, for which Frontier’s flexible hours is a huge help to him!). Yet we realise that some of our policies to create a flexible work culture can work against a broader goal of having a healthier team.

For example, while most modern offices are hardly conducive to a healthy lifestyle, unless you make a conscious effort to be healthy, working from home will likely give you even less opportunity to hit the recommended level of physical activity as employees even lack the physical exercise derived from travelling to and from work. Working in your pyjamas may not be everything it’s cracked up to be, health-wise at least!

Furthermore, given our choice-based environment, our team members have the choice of how to use their time – what happens if they do not view health as being as important a use of time as our CEO? Yet, we understand that if this choice leads to an unhealthy team (as it very well could!), it would affect our underlying purpose of providing great work in a “life first” work environment.

However, we’re not the first to see these short-comings – other firms that believe in an open-culture, such as Aetana and 37 Signals, have taken to offering incentives to motivate employees to focus on their health. Frontier hopes to follow in their footsteps, with our own little twist. We don’t hope to become competitive with our health initiative – we’re not gunning for the “Fittest team in the country” award – we just want Frontier to be a better option than the alternatives our team members could have chosen, in this regard. We don’t want to push (read: force) team members into becoming healthier, instead we want to encourage them to do so. Our goal here is to be a positive driver for healthy living!

One of the ways we’re looking to do this is through something we call T-Pay. This is a form of “bonus” (but we don’t really like that word, so let’s call it T-pay, that’s T for Thrive/Training). This can be considered a sum of money that Frontier will give team members to spend on their health. However, this is a relatively new concept to us as well, so it’s going to need some more planning in terms of budgeting, transparency and how we’re going to handle the payment (i.e. either cash or incentives like subsidized gym memberships).

Even though we haven’t figured out the mechanics of T-pay yet, we’ve taken our first baby step in our health initiative. We’ve planned to have some group sessions with a professional trainer and even had our first session just last month. Our team, all geared up in sportswear with exercise mats on tow, headed to the infamous Torrington. This baby step turned out to be an eye opener for many. The lunges turned out to be not as easy as lounging. Post all the complaints of cramps and hate towards the trainer, the team realized that they were not as “young and strong” as they thought (quite to the shock and dismay of Amal). We also realized that getting a medical check beforehand and planning it out as appropriate to each person maybe a better way to start, given the varied levels of fitness in the team.

But overall most team members realized they would need to put in a lot more hours to avoid future adverse implications to their health. All in all, it served as a good first start and provided the team the motivation to keep at it.

We continue to be inspired by a new global movement of businesses who are all passionate about re-defining work so that it helps people thrive, and a healthy team would be a key part of it.

Email Management Strategies From Top CEOs – Week 6

When you receive almost 150 work emails every day, your inbox can quickly become the bane of your existence. So how do top CEOs like Bill Gates and Tim Cook manage their overwhelming inbox flux?

This week, we’ll discuss how Ryan Holmes conquers his email with “inbox bankruptcy” and how Eric Schmidt replies to every email quickly:


Hootsuite CEO and founder Ryan Holmes goes for email broke

When overwhelmed with his inbox, Holmes likes to “declare inbox bankruptcy” and delete everything so he can start fresh.

He recommends only doing this once every few years, and practitioners should add a disclaimer message to their email signature after deleting unread mails.

Something like, “Sorry if I didn’t get back to your last email. To become a better communicator in 2015, I’ve recently declared email bankruptcy,” he advises.


Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt responds quickly to every email

In his book “How Google Works,” the former Google CEO wrote, “Most of the best — and busiest — people we know act quickly on their emails, not just to us or to a select few senders, but to everyone.”

Even if the answer is a simple “got it,” Schmidt says being responsive establishes a positive communication loop and a culture focused on merit.


That ends our adventures through some Top CEOs email habits. If you’d like to catch up on them, or find even more, visit

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Email Management Strategies From Top CEOs – Week 5

When you receive almost 150 work emails every day, your inbox can quickly become the bane of your existence. So how do top CEOs like Bill Gates and Tim Cook manage their overwhelming inbox flux?

This week, we’ll discuss how Chad Dickerson uses a system for remembering contacts, while Kara Goldin simply wakes up early to check her email:


Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson has a system for remembering contacts

For example, whenever he meets someone new and adds their contact information to his address book, he includes a note about when they met and what they discussed. That way, whenever he emails someone, he can directly reference their meeting before he moves on to the ask.


Hint Water founder and CEO Kara Goldin wakes up early to check email

Goldin considers her morning a critical part of her day and devotes the wee hours of the morning to checking her email and schedule.

She says she heads straight to her inbox at 5:30 a.m. because “doing this gives me a clear understanding of what the next 12 hours are going to look like and what my priorities are once I get to the office.”


Next week, we’ll show you the email habits of Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, and Hootsuite CEO and founder, Ryan Holmes. Stay tuned.

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The Global Economy in January

Global markets were in risk-off mode during January, battered by low oil prices and weak Chinese economic data. China’s stock market sell-off this year and its subsequent impact on other markets persisted through most of the month, prompting some analysts to advise selling “everything”. Concerns are being raised that China’s $3 trillion reserves may not be a sufficient insurance policy against capital outflows and a depreciating Yuan. China saw an estimated $1 trillion in capital outflows in 2015. Views on China’s impact on emerging markets differ, however, with Goldman Sachs seeing a further 10% fall in emerging equities, while others see no threat of a crisis in emerging nations. However, some analysts believe that the impact on developed nations will be limited. The fall in the Yuan has taken much of the blame for the volatility in international markets, together with its effect on commodity prices.

Lower oil prices have also sent shock waves through markets, with Gulf stock markets falling to 2-year lows. As the US raised sanctions on Iran, sending oil prices below $30 for the first time since 2003, analysts predict that prices could fall as low as $10 this year. The impact of these sustained low prices on Gulf-nation finances came to a head this month, as Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer, announced the IPO of state-owned Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest crude producer. The World Bank believes that this time oil prices will recover slower and more shallow than in past shocks. Analysts at Bank of America Corp, however, see the lower oil prices heralding the largest transfer of wealth in history.

The new spate of volatility witnessed this year has raised fears of another recession on horizon. Analysts believe that a $29 trillion corporate bond binge has created a catalyst for a recession, as they note the economic effects of the stock market’s volatility. This comes as Russia was seen to contract last year, with a rising likelihood of a contraction in 2016 as well. Even India, investor’s darling of Asia, remains under threat, with the events in China threatening to spur a crisis.

Underpinning all the volatility are arguments that Central Banks are losing the ability to contain such events, increasing the need for structural reforms with fiscal, as well as monetary, stimulus to keep things afloat.

Email Management Strategies From Top CEOs – Week 4

When you receive almost 150 work emails every day, your inbox can quickly become the bane of your existence. So how do top CEOs like Bill Gates and Tim Cook manage their overwhelming inbox flux?

This week, we’ll discuss how Tony Hsieh employs a team of “email ninjas” to handle his mail and how Katia Beauchamp uses response deadlines to prioritize her email:


Birchbox cofounder Katia Beauchamp makes employees include a response deadline

The beauty-sample subscription service cofounder told Lifehacker that insisting people on the team indicate when they need a response in all emails is one of her best time-saving tricks.

“It makes prioritization so much faster,” she said.


Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh employs a full-time team of email ninjas

In a fascinating Quora thread about CEO email habits, Michael Chen, a responder who once met Hsieh, wrote that the Zappos CEO told him he had a team of four or five full-time email handlers.

“Fun fact, I think their official titles are Email Ninja,” Chen said.


Next week, we’ll show you the email habits of Hint Water founder and CEO, Kara Goldin, and Etsy CEO, Chad Dickerson. Stay tuned.

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