Back to Listing

The Productive Leader

03 October 2017

Your leaders are spending too much time at work and NOT getting the results to match! 

And, it's NOT about lazy! 

  • They spend a lot of time and effort guiding, developing, and often counselling and refereeing, their teams. 
  • They are struggling to drive performance while also getting their own work done. 
  • They know delegation can help them but they either don't know how, see everyone as already being too busy, or don't know who they can delegate to. 
  • They get pulled down into the minutia far too quickly, stay there too long, and are there too often. 

What's really going on is... 

  • There's not enough trust and rapport to delegate confidently. 
  • Difficult conversations are avoided because of the perceived (and sometimes very real) backlash that could happen.
  • The risks and perceived (and real) costs of mistakes are too high. 

Did you know: 

  • It takes ~20minutes to get back to where you left off once you've handled an interruption. When you add to that, on average, 2 to 3 hours each day are spent handling interruptions, this means productivity is suffering. (Source HBR).
  • You can lose up to 40% productivity through multitasking! 
  • Your IQ lowers up to 10 points when you're distracted by calls and emails and this is the equivalent of listing a night's sleep. 

All these factors play out in almost every workplace: your leaders (and your employees) contend with these daily. 

In my work with leaders the common message I hear is that they feel like they're drowning in work, not keeping up, not making the progress they want to make. The pressure to be more productive is not being matched with enough resources, time or attention. Leaders at every level are feeling this pressure. 

It's important to understand how productive - that is, how effective your leaders are - and where they might be getting stuck, bogged down or losing track. When a leader knows where they're stuck they can devise the best strategy, focus on the right activities, have more success with less stress, lead their team more effectively. 

Furthermore, in my work with many people across a diverse range of industries and experiences, I see and hear so many leaders and managers struggling with: 

  • Prioritising: the work, themselves and others 
  • Discerning urgent and important in the context of return on effort and investment 
  • Being stuck in the detail and not knowing how to rise above through effective delegation, feedback, and confident decision making.
  • Multitasking yet not getting anywhere.
  • Poor relationships because of poor presence 
  • Reacting versus responding so they never feel like they're getting ahead.

Helping your leaders be more productive is about role modelling, skilling and coaching them to working more effectively with their team, self-leadership, executing the work, empowering and driving performance. It's time for leaders to get greater insight into how they spend their time so that they can stop feeling as though their efforts are invisible. It's time for leaders to be more discerning; master key leadership skills such as feedback, delegation and prioritising to achieve more while simultaneously developing their team; and instead of 'just getting by' actually value-adding to business.

I'd love to know your thoughts on how productive your leaders really are...