CEO English: Strategy Implementation Tool for Fortune 500 Bank

What’s the connection between three pieces of paper and a strategy implementation tool?


One of the hardest things to do as a leader and CEO is to balance the short, mid and long term. That is, how not to immerse yourself too much in the day-to-day stuff, or to become too excited and carried away about the AI vision of the future. How good are you at toggling (switching quickly and easily) between these three levels?

  1. the long term (3-5 years)
  2. getting stuff done in a year
  3. what happens every day

Listen to Jamie Gorman, Fortune 500 bank CEO, outline how he used “managing by three sheets of paper” to toggle between them.


Notes on his strategy implementation tool

Three to five year strategy:

The first sheet of paper in the strategy implementation tool is on his desk at all times. It is the three to five year strategy in 72 words. If someone comes in with a proposal, James Gorman sees if it fits with the strategy on his desk.  If yes, they judge the idea on its merits, if it doesn’t, they think about the possible need of adjusting the strategy.

One-year goals

At the beginning of each year when he walks into the office, he asks himself some questions. “Your bum is sitting in this seat, what are you going to get done this year?  How does this reflect my capabilities and skill-sets?”

Daily operations:

Each night he writes on a sheet of paper the numbers from all the businesses around the world and sends out emails to inquire about them. The paper and the emails give you an emotional connection with the numbers and focus you for the next day.



Now that you have finished, write down your strategy in about 70 words. After this, write down your yearly goals. Finally, write down the main things you did today / yesterday. When you have finished, think about how much they align.


Posted in Business, CEO English.

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