Let me tell you a story about three wise men.
The first one is Arnie Shapiro. He was my forum moderator when I joined the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. The thing that he taught me was about respecting time. The Entrepreneurs’ Organization, which I belong to, consists of 15 000 members worldwide in 200 chapters. And that's broken down to cohorts of eight people per chapter, that have these things called a forum that meets every month, and it's the foundation of what makes this thing tick. Because we all have this rigid respect of time: you don’t come late, you don't leave early, and everybody's present and everybody gets a chance to do their thing.
The second wise man is Jeff Bezos. Jeff has three rules & I want to talk about two of them for meetings. One is the pizza rule: never have more people in the meeting than can be fed by two pizzas. And the second one is: start in silence. So, everybody read the memo, everybody do the work, let's get that done and then we engage and keep the meeting size small so we can effectively cycle through it. There is science to indicate that teams should be between four and six people, 5.3 being the statistical average for a good team.
The third wise man and he would love that I call him that, is my brother-in-law, Andy Higginbothan. My sister married a machine. He takes sport very seriously. Whether it's an Iron Man, a Cape Epic, Two Oceans Marathon, or whatever else he’s doing, he takes it very seriously. When he talks to his buddies about the stuff, they talk in a language even I don’t understand because it's all about the numbers. It's all about the KPIs. It's all about what comes out at the other end in terms of the equipment that they use.
Six years ago, we ran the Cape Town Marathon together. He stayed with me for the first 20 kilometers and then he left me in his wake and he did a time of 3h48m. And then he said, I want to do better. I'm like, dude, that's a really good time. I want to do better. So, he got his friend Jean involved. Here’s the thing Jean said to him: Do not take those long strides. Those long strides are what keep you slow. Shorten the strides, go for a higher cadence, higher reps. The way it works is at the start, if you go to higher cadence, it's hard because you're spending way more energy to get into the rhythm of it. You have to really have some perseverance. Once you push through and you get into the cadence of it, into the rhythm of it, results can improve dramatically. He went with cadence as his number one metric that he was tracking consistently and he knocked 21 minutes off his time in 2017.
Cadence is about: respecting time, small teams, measuring metrics, and high reps.