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Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Leadership Productivity

Feb 21, 2014 | Posted by Matt Elson

leadership productivity

Need to improve your Leadership Productivity?

Who doesn’t right? We all have too much on our plates, from hundreds of emails, Tweets, phone calls & posts to phone calls, meetings (argh!) and last-minute, pain-in-the-butt requests from the boss. How can you possibly balance and prioritize your workload? You can increase your ‘leadership productivity’ by creating some simple leadership standardized work for yourself…a simple way to plan, execute and measure your productivity.

Here’s how to do it:

1)  Separate your “morning work”

Morning work is when you “run the business”; check metrics and overall status of your organization.

Don’t have metrics? Start by creating a few ones that focus on customer service, an internal measure of how well your processes are performing according to your customer demand, and a measure for human development. Don’t worry about getting them exactly right…just start with something, and you’ll perfect them over time.

Make sure you have an opportunity to touch base with all of your team as well…this gives them an opportunity to escalate problems to you.

2)  Separate your “afternoon work”

Afternoon work is set aside for strategy development and focusing on the human development of your team. Leaders lead and develop their teams…this is the definition of leadership! (And a cornerstone of TPS!)

What is your strategy? Establish what you do for your customers, and what is your value proposition that distinguishes you from your competition. Organize the activities, processes and people around this central theme.

What does human development mean? Do you have a personal training and development plan for each of your team? Do you have the necessary skills for your organization to succeed? If there are gaps, populate a plan on how to close the gaps through training & development, or hiring.

3)  Standardize your calendar

What is the number on productivity killer? Distraction! Distracted by emails, phone calls and meetings! Block off time for your “morning” and “afternoon” work in your calendar, and don’t budge on them! If your boss calls a meeting during your daily status meeting, politely decline…they’ll value a member of their team is following leadership standardized work in an effort to increase their productivity!

Also budget time to get to those emails, To Do tasks and phone calls. If you have them scheduled, you’ll less inclined to click on that new email the second it comes into your inbox, or check your phone (again!) as soon as it vibrates. Focus on the task at hand.

4)  Create a simple checklist to ensure you’re following it

“Be careful of the shadow you cast.” Good advice! Your team is watching you…when they see you executing your plan diligently, it will have a positive effect on them as well.

Your check list is a simple reminder of the daily standardized work that you have to perform everyday…what measurements you have to check, when are your status meetings, when are your strategy sessions, the schedule of all your performance reviews.

Don’t over complicate it! This can be as simple (a piece of paper, with some standardized items on it) as you make it and there are plenty of apps and programs to help out (Outlook’s Calendar & Tasks, Evernote, etc.). Just do it everyday.

5)  Check how it’s working

Are your metrics going in the right direction? Are you accomplishing your leadership tasks? Do you feel your productivity is better? Does your team see a difference in your leadership behaviours?

Ask yourself some simple questions on an ongoing basis (remember your standardized calendar and check list?)…if something isn’t working, make a change and check the results again. Repeat, repeat and repeat!

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