Strong leadership is critical for good productivity and good productivity is critical for strong leadership. One cannot be an effective leader without an effective team. And you bet that team is looking to you as a leader to ensure that you are being productive too.
One of my favorite quotes is by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay. He says that “five times 80% is much larger than 100% of me.” Good leaders know that they can only do so much and that productivity rises when a team is empowered and motivated.
In a recent interview with CNBC I discussed 3 strategies that leaders can use to boost productivity:
1) Make time every week to plan your work – when you take the time to identify what is important for the week you know what to say yes to and what to say no to. This results in getting your most important work done.
2) Make your meetings count – only hold meetings when you have a purpose and don’t rush through the meeting. Give the team the time it needs to discuss a topic and make a decision. All too often I see leaders rushing to get to the next agenda item and never making a decision. That is a real time waster!
3) Empower your team – Don’t waste your team member’s time. Don’t ask them to do something and then ignore their recommendations. Give enough authority so that team members can make a difference. This is what drives productivity. When team members are motivated they become highly engaged and deliver great work.
Those are 3 of my favorite strategies – but that’s just a start. Here are a few more:
4) Create a culture where it is ok to be wrong – Open-mindedness and permission to take risks create a culture in which team members are willing to step up and give more. When it’s ok to try something different, or float a wild idea, or pilot an uncertain project, the team not only finds greater opportunities for success but the members feel a sense of ownership and are motivated to try harder.
5) Work to the Plan – ensure that everyone’s priorities support the big picture, and be sure that everyone on the team is clear about what exactly the plan is. Goals are the pathway to success. They help the team determine what to say yes to and what to say no to. And sometimes, even more importantly, they show the team that they have been successful.
6) Be Positive and Lead by Example – this oldie but goodie is critical. The leader who leads with enthusiasm, openness, and conviction has great impact on the success of the team. When the leader displays an optimistic attitude, the team follows, and work is always more fun that way. And when people enjoy what they do, much more gets accomplished.
If you’ve gotten to this part of this post and said to yourself – “well that’s fine and dandy – but I’m not a leader…” think again. The definition of a leader is one who influences behavior. I’m sure you want to do that – for your family, your work group, your volunteer groups and yourself. Now go read these tips again applying them to you and watch your productivity soar!