Imperial Green Mobility CEO Jonathan Cohen on Managing your Day

Imperial Green Mobility CEO Jonathan Cohen on Managing your Day


Vital stats

  • Player: Jonathan Cohen
  • Company: Imperial Green Mobility
  • Position: MD
  • What they do: Distributor of leading electric vehicles.

Fast Forward

Meetings and emails should be quick and to the point; delegation is key and focus on clearing items off the agenda.

Big Decisions

In the past, I used to shoot from the hip. Now, if I have a big decision to make in the business I will take my dogs to the park and think about it carefully, looking at the best and worst case scenarios and finding ways to mitigate the risks.

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Making Mistakes

I’ve been in the electric vehicles business for 12 years. Looking back, I am satisfied by how much I have learnt from every mistake we made. People thought I was crazy to add Segways to our product offering, but we have proved that todays’ failure may well be tomorrow’s success.

Managing Your Diary

When I make an appointment I put it into my diary immediately. That way, things get done quickly.

Stopping Email Madness

I’m a people person and I refuse to get bogged down by floods of email. Over time I have ensured that emails are routed directly to the right people in the company.

They know what decisions to make, which means I do not have to worry about anything urgent. It’s freed up my time to focus on what I do best, which is networking and new business development.



Meetings achieve little to nothing, and that is not where the work is done. I like to keep meetings short and to the point, and to get out quickly. That’s why I usually stand up throughout an entire meeting. I literally think faster and better on my feet.

Taking Action

Always bring the appropriate people to (brief) meetings. That’s the most efficient way to ensure things get done and items can be cleared off the agenda. I also have a GM who is very good at admin. She always notes who is responsible for what, she sets deadlines and ensures that people are held accountable for meeting them.

Playing it Loud

Every Tuesday morning we have a sales team get-together. To get motivated and really positive, I listen to very loud, crazy music in my car on the way to work.

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Whether it’s a song that brings back good memories, or something catchy that’s on the radio, it clears my head and puts me in a great mood. As a leader who has to keep my sales team motivated, whether I’m feeling happy or not, I find this can change my attitude in minutes.

Letting Go of Ego

Don’t place your own needs and wants above those of the organisation for which you work. Ego-motivated behaviour is driven by a desire to be appreciated.

I have learnt to make decisions based on what is best for the business. Work for results rather than seeking to keep the peace. Also, ego gets in the way of personal development – instead of striving to be right, rather aim for continuous learning.

Monique Verduyn
Monique Verduyn is a freelance writer. She has more than 12 years’ experience in writing for the corporate, SME, IT and entertainment sectors, and has interviewed many of South Africa’s most prominent business leaders and thinkers. Find her on Google+.