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Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt gestures during the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, California November 15, 2010. (Robert Galbraith/Reuters)
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt gestures during the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, California November 15, 2010. (Robert Galbraith/Reuters)

EXECUTIVE SURVIVAL GUIDE

Six ways to lead like a boss Add to ...

In our eighth annual Executive Survival Guide, we show you how to do business with an egomaniac, build a brand like Drake, climb the corporate ladder (without stepping on anyone), avoid Snapchat snafus and ditch underperformers—gently. If you’re looking for a slightly more formal education experience, we’ll also help you find the right EMBA or MBA program.

REPLY TO E-MAILS (ASAP)
Eric Schmidt

Executive chairman, Google

Don’t let e-mails fester. Responding quickly sets up a “positive communications feedback loop,” encouraging colleagues to include you in important discussions.

READ—A LOT
Indra Nooyi

CEO, PepsiCo

Nooyi, a “voracious reader,” divides her material into two piles: what she needs to read in detail and what she can skim.

KILL YOUR MEETINGS
Stewart Butterfield

CEO and co-founder, Slack

Butterfield scrapped nearly all recurring meetings to see which were necessary. “Respecting people’s time is important. So if you’re going to call a meeting, you’re responsible for it, and you have to be clear what you want out of it.”

TAKE A VACATION
Reed Hastings

Co-founder and CEO, Netflix

Hastings takes off six weeks a year. “You often do your best thinking when you’re off hiking on some mountain or something. You get a different perspective on things.”

GET SOME SHUT-EYE
Arianna Huffington

Co-founder, Huffington Post

The HuffPo honcho wrote an entire book about the importance of slumber (The Sleep Revolution). “The way to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is getting enough sleep.”

SET TOMORROW’S PRIORITIES
Kenneth Chenault

CEO, American Express

The AmEx chief wakes up with a game plan. The day prior, he identifies what he needs to tackle, the people he needs to talk to and the questions he’ll ask. (Oh, and he starts with a two-hour workout.)

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