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Les McKeown's Predictable Success Blog

  • December 8, 2009
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David Allen Endorses Predictable Success 

In 1998 I read an article in one of the early issues of ‘Fast Company’ that changed my entire approach to work. It was an interview with a ‘personal-productivity guru’ – who, I remember noting, also had a black belt in karate – called David Allen. The article talked about using lists as a productivity tool. Nothing new in that. The game-changer was this simple, blinding flash of the obvious: Lists only work if they are 100% leakproof. Only if you completely trust the system that produces your ‘to-do’s’ will you release the psychic energy consumed by keeping things in your head. If you don’t trust your system, then the lists are worse than useless – you end up having lists and still wandering around trying to remember stuff.

In 2001 David Allen released his fully formed productivity methodology in book form with “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity”. When I read it, I realized that he had developed the definitive framework for personal productivity. I read it every couple of years, follow its precepts, and I must have bought 15 copies over the years to give to clients and colleagues. (It’s one of only two outside resources that we regularly recommend during Predictable Success training.)

“GTD” as its (many, many, many…many) avid followers refer to the methodology is now a global phenomena, and David Allen’s company provides training and consulting to a blue-chip roster of world-class organizations in what he calls “winning at the game of work and the business of life”. GTD also both ignited and informed my own pursuit of ‘Predictable Success’ – I have purchased, consumed, high-lighted and repurposed just about everything David Allen has produced over the years.

It is therefore incredibly humbling – and eye-wateringly exciting – to have received this testimonial from David for my own upcoming book, “Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization On the Growth Track – and Keeping It There“:

“He’s got it right. Les McKeown has uncovered the core dynamics of organizational growth, and mapped it to the best (and worst!) practices to achieve and maintain optimal, in-your-zone conditions – no matter where a group is in its evolution. This is real-world expertise, with simple but subtle and sophisticated prescriptions for all of us involved in getting things done with other people. And, oh yeah, he nailed how to address some key opportunities in my own company. Predictable Success should be required reading for every management team.”

David Allen, International best-selling author, ‘Getting Things Done’ and ‘Making It Work’

You can (and should) get David’s books on his Amazon author page (David has his own Amazon page – how cool is that!?), and read more about David, his business, and how GTD can help you and your organization at his web site here. If you’re not using some version of GTD to manage your own personal productivity, do yourself a favor, and get started now.


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