Macromanaging at Martha Stewart Living
An interview with Susan Lyne, 56, President and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
By Julie Schlosser, Fortune Magazine

(Fortune Magazine) -- My style is to macromanage, except that I will always, at some point, go deep into whatever my team is working on. If we are launching a new magazine, I'll spend a few days giving them feedback. I don't want to see everything. But I want them to know I'm engaged and there if they need me.

I always hire direct reports who I think have the potential to do my job. I did the same thing when I was editing a magazine [Premiere] and at ABC [as president of ABC Entertainment]. The best way to grow a company is to hire fantastic people. If I don't have people who feel they're masters of their fate, I'm not going to keep them.

Working with Martha
HOW_martha_stewart.03.jpg
Chef-in-Chief Lyne (center) checks in with her editors at "Everyday Food" magazine.

Martha is really hands-on. She gets into the trenches and wants to see everything. She and I talk several times a day. And I probably see her at least three out of five days a week. When she's happy with something, when she thinks that the work that's being done is excellent, that's a very good thing.

Can't live without

I love my No. 2 mechanical pencils. I don't have clean handwriting anymore because I write really fast. They're always sharp, so I can read my own notes. I like the fact that I can erase, not cross things out. And I use them for multiple things. There's always a crossword puzzle in my bag. It's nice to be able to work on something that is play but also makes my brain work.

Meeting tips

I can't remember the last time I was in a long, dull meeting. I try to sit at midpoint on the long side of the table so no one feels he's in Siberia. I make everyone speak. No one gets to just sit there. That way people are either thinking about what someone else is saying or what they are going to say. I keep meetings to 90 minutes. After that, everyone is looking at his watch.

Making a list, checking it twice

I have a notebook with me all the time. I go through my notes every night and again in a much more organized way every Sunday. That way I can start the week with a clean list of what has or hasn't been taken care of or what I think needs more focus. I am a big list maker.

The personal touch

I send handwritten notes about ten times a week. Not in the ordinary course of business, but maybe if a business associate did something for the company that I really appreciated. They have much more impact than an e-mail. Something that has a stamp on it means you took extra time.

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.