There is an old adage that says something like, “If you want something done, ask a busy person. Nobody else will have time.” This is certainly a truism, and it is sometimes a curse to the truly productive, active people in an organization. They are the ones who are constantly called on to get the things done that nobody else can figure out how to get done in their busy schedules.
There is another story about two fellow woodchoppers who were competing to see who could cut down the most trees. One was consistently winning over the other. The loser started working harder and then longer. He still was lagging behind. The top producer went home daily at a reasonable time and did not work on weekends, while the other stayed late and often worked weekends. One Saturday, the poorer producer went to see if he could glean any ideas of how the other was able to get so much done in such a reasonable amount of time, and with seemingly less effort! He arrived stealthily and heard activity around the back. As he crept around the house, he heard a grinding noise. As he quietly peeked around the corner, he learned the other’s secret. The other was home sharpening his saw!
Perhaps a corny and even trite story, but the best stories and illustrations are like wine and some cheeses—they get better as they age. This story has stuck around in its many variations because it illustrates an important truth that top achievers know: though, the reality is still that the first secret to productivity is determination and hard work, the second secret, that of improving ongoing productivity is more often most about well-trained workers working smarter. This is something that takes ongoing effort and investment, which is usually an important neglect of second-tier companies, departments, and workers.
Most companies, in their urgency and in tough competitive markets, simply fail to take the time to make the time to get better and sharper. With just a little coaching, workers can be shown how to make more time in their schedules to focus on the truly important, high-payoff activities. Experience tells us that often the worst offenders of this principle are the people at the top—the owners, executives and managers who actually have the most control over their own schedules. These are the same leaders though that also do not help their workers improve, but rather choose to play the even more costly turnover game.
This is an area where leadership and management coaches can prove to give a return on investment of 5 to 10 times their charges. There are testimonials on this same website of other companies that have experienced tremendous improvements in productivity with such a relatively small time and financial investment with our company.
Posted October 25, 2012 4:32 pm | View(Views: 76)
I am really excited about the redesign of my company website. As a part of the update I will be adding the email addresses of all of my regular customers and contacts to a list to notify you when new blogs are posted. If for any reason you wish not to receive these notices, please just email me and let me know and I’ll remove them. However, I hope you will check the site occasionally, as I will be adding articles and resources to help you growing in managing your business or organization.
Posted June 5, 2012 4:35 pm | View(Views: 125)
There’s a principle in thermodynamics concerning energy in a closed system. Basically, the principle is that in a closed system energy is lost as entropy causing a “winding down” of the system if more energy is not added. Thus, to keep a system running normally energy has to be added regularly back to the system to maintain. To make improvements, energy has to be added to replace that lost as entropy as well as additional energy added to fuel the improvements. It’s the same way in our work systems with the interactions of the individuals and the processes that drive our businesses. Energy has to constantly be added in the form of support, training, counseling, motivation, and so forth. Just to keep things running the same some energy has to be added to make up for what is lost in the daily grind. To make ongoing improvements, even more than that must be added in order to make up for what is lost as well as to drive productivity improvements of any and all kinds. Strategically working on internal systems is essential to maintaining and growing!
Posted June 5, 2012 4:33 pm | View(Views: 128)
Most people go through life trying to change the others and the world around them to make it work better for them. In reality most of us are fairly powerless to significantly change much about who and what is around us. Managers and business leaders do this too, thinking that if they could just fix their employees, their suppliers, their customers, or the economy they would do great. We are fairly powerless to do it though. Why do we keep trying? We are hoping against hope. The one thing each of us CAN do though is to work to change self. This is one of the most powerful principles of leadership — you change others most by changing yourself. But, all too often, when we figure this principle out, we then want to do it in huge increments rather than learning the principle of doing a little bit every day or two. We’re like the weekend warrior who wants to go out on Saturday morning and get in all her/his exercise for a whole week. You only end up miserable and your body is arguably in poorer condition afterwards rather than in better shape. As leaders we must invest some time every day or two in learning, growing, practicing, getting inspired, and so forth. What we do regularly is the key to who we are becoming or not becoming. Who we are becoming is key to helping others become the best they can be.
Posted June 5, 2012 4:28 pm | View(Views: 130)
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