Fifteen years on Wall Street and multiple years as a tech executive have taught Christa Quarles a key skill — how to get things done efficiently.
Quarles is the CEO of OpenTable, an online restaurant reservation company that seats more than 20 million diners each month. The company, owned by the Priceline Group, has generated $45 billion spent at restaurants over the past two decades.
Quarles described how the environment at one of her previous employers was very roundabout and indirect, which killed productivity.
“People were not always super direct,” Quarles told CNBC. “You had these meetings where nobody was really saying what the meeting was about, or there was a meeting before the meeting so there were no surprises in the meetings.”
“Those things drive me bonkers,” said Quarles, who has worked in private wealth management and fixed income research and previously served as Disney’s senior vice president of mobile and social games.
Quarles shared four key steps to having an insanely productive meeting.
1. Have a clear purpose
Being direct in communicating the meeting’s purpose is the first step, the executive said.
“I just want to have meetings where the purpose is clear,” she said. “There is an objective.”
Then break that objective down into small action steps, Quarles added.
“There’s a to-do list,” she said. “There’s an outcome. We’re not just sitting there dithering for a while.”