Tag Archives: improve productivity

Great Leadership Depends On the Right Mindset

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Great leadership depends on the right mindset, whether it’s in the office or on the field.

Robert Sutton, author for the Harvard Business Review has written this article which explores the concept that great leadership depends on the right mindset. Whatever your mindset is, that’s what your team will mirror. They will follow your lead. If changing your mindset is something you think will make you a better leader, remember slight adjustments go a long way in my experience so don’t try to change everything at once.

Great Leadership Depends on the Right Mindset

…At the same time, I’ve come to conclude that all the technique and behavior coaching in the world won’t make a boss great if that boss doesn’t also have a certain mindset.

My readings of peer-reviewed studies, plus my more idiosyncratic experience studying and consulting to managers in many settings, have led me identify some key beliefs that are held by the best bosses — and rejected, or more often simply never even thought about, by the worst bosses. Here they are, presented as a neat dozen:


  1. I have a flawed and incomplete understanding of what it feels like to work for me.
  2. My success — and that of my people — depends largely on being the master of obvious and mundane things, not on magical, obscure, or breakthrough ideas or methods.
  3. Having ambitious and well-defined goals is important, but it is useless to think about them much. My job is to focus on the small wins that enable my people to make a little progress every day.
  4. One of the most important, and most difficult, parts of my job is to strike the delicate balance between being too assertive and not assertive enough.
  5. My job is to serve as a human shield, to protect my people from external intrusions, distractions, and idiocy of every stripe — and to avoid imposing my own idiocy on them as well.

Read the Full Article Here…

I disagree slightly with number three, of course a great leader will empower their people to do their best work and accept that progress comes in small achievements but the goals of the team are what drives the work forward so don’t forget the big picture and occasionally remind yourself and the people you are leading what the goals are and that you believe they can reach those goals. See for yourself how much great leadership depends on the right mindset and let us know how it works out.


What To Do When There’s Too Much To Do Book Review

Too much to do? Join millions! Laura Stack‘s What To Do When There’s Too Much To Do takes a fresh approach to productivity with a forward focus. The book will show you 6 basic steps to help you put forward focus back into your work.

The Productivity Workflow Formula™ (PWF)

1. Determine what to do.

2. Schedule time to do it.

3. Focus your attention.

4. Process new information.

5. Close the loop.

6. Manage your capacity.

ROI is a key performance measure used in business. Stack takes ROI to the personal level asking you to look at your PROI (Personal Return on Investment). Do you know where you stand? What is important to you? What are your time wasters? Stack provides quick checklists for each step to help you get on your path to productivity quickly.

Full of useful insights and tips to pare down your task list to a manageable level while providing forward focus, add What To Do When There’s Too Much To Do to your reading list.


Leading Creativity through Forward Focus

Leading Creativity through forward focus

Image by eilonwy77 via Flickr

The ideas of leadership and play when combined provide an opportunity to lead creativity through forward focus. What do I mean?

Think back, way back, to when you were a kid with all the energy and imagination that went with it. Can’t think back that far, then look at the world through the eyes of a child. One that comes to mind is with my son. All of 2 years old at the time, he decided that I must lay down on the kitchen floor to watch as two ants scurried across it. My first thought – get the ant spray and squish the ants. Yet I hesitated just long enough to lay down on the floor and listen to my son explain that the ants were on a parade and all the fun places the parade would see. Such as going down a slide,stopping at the beach, and visiting a picnic or two along the way. For that short time, I watched the ants through his imagination. He saw the possibilities that lie ahead, he had forward focus. I will do my best to make sure he doesn’t lose the creativity of that moment.

After all only about 20% of us will retain creativity in our lives. Not sure where you fall? Consider this – when you think about leading your team are you seeing the cannot or the can?

If you are among the 20% that thinks creatively, you are thinking about the can and changing the cannot to can. For the other 80% the to do list is daunting list with lots of cannot. As children our creativity flowed endlessy from crazy made up creations with Legos® to acting out whole scenarios with Barbie® orG.I. Joe®. Somewhere along the way we have lost many of these needed skills. How can we maintain it or find it again?

Leo Babauta had some similar experiences to my ant parade and explores how to infuse your day with creativity (play)….

You can’t always enjoy what you’re doing, right?

Actually, you can. You just have to remember what it’s like to be a child.

Sure, there are things we have to do every day that we might think are boring: household chores, errands, routine tasks at work, being in a meeting that’s makes you want to pound your head on the table. But those are only boring because we’ve chosen to make them boring.

Let’s take my 6-year-old daughter Noelle as an example. She had to go to the dentist, which is a pretty routine thing for most people. We took the train and then walked a few blocks. In the train, she sang, found things fun to see out the window, played games with me. As we walked, she talked about how the building the dentist is in might possibly reach the blue stuff in the sky, and wanted to bet me that it actually did (10 hugs if I won, $1 if she won). The elevator ride to the 18th floor was like a roller coaster ride to her.

Everything she does becomes a game, an opportunity for wonder and exploration, or at the very least an opportunity to sing a song. She’s never bored. Why is that?

Because she doesn’t see anything as boring. Everything is new, and there’s always a game you can play.

We can do that too. Every chore can be turned into play. Every walk to the store can be infused with beginner’s mind, so that we see our surroundings afresh, ripe for exploration. Every boring work task can be turned into a challenge, a game.

It is amazing to see what we can learn from the children around us. They bring creativity to everything they do – now is the time to begin leading creativity. Do you want to know the benefits of leading creativity through forward focus? Look for the 7 Benefits to Leading Creativity Through Forward Focus next week.


Play fosters belonging and encourages cooperation.
- Stuart Brown, MD

More Mindset Reading
True Payoff From Workplace Diversity
Do You Dare Your Employees To Dream?


How Do I Get More Done During My Workday?

How do I get more done during my workday?

One question that comes up all the time is “How do I get more done during my workday? There are endless books and articles on this subject but I prefer to keep everything very simple. Productivity is a big issue in business and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much you can accomplish if you follow these useful tips from Kevin Eikenberry.

How Do I Get More Done During My Workday?

Everyone would like to be more productive (well, at least anyone who might be reading these words). oday, some simple and important ideas for raising your productivity, starting immediately.

1. Stop. Multi. Tasking.  Seriously. It is an illusion if you think you can do it without hampering the effectiveness of either task.  Want proof?  When you are driving in heavy traffic, reduced visibility, or when you aren’t sure where you are going, what do you do?  Turn off the radio. Our minds know instinctively when the task is most important to shut down everything else.  Listen to your brain.  One task to completion, then the next.

2. Destroy distractions.   You know what distracts you. So remove the distraction. Unplug. Close the door. Turn off the TV. Whatever the distractions are, they are the enemy of your productivity.

3. Work in time blocks.  Our body clock, our attention span, and our biology all say focus for 60-90 minutes, then shift.  Stand up and walk around. Do something completely different (e.g. if you have been working on a project, now make some phone calls).  Have a snack. Do something different! Incorporating this approach into your work will make you more productive and less stressed and frustrated.

4. Schedule email time.  Ever been away from the office for part or all of a day, without email access?  Have you noticed that when you do it all at once you get it done faster?  ”You’ve Got Mail” may have been a cute movie, but if you are serious about your productivity, turn off any email notification tool and turn on your discipline to work on email at predefined times during your day.

5. Pick up the phone.  You remember, that was the original use for your smartphone before it became a camera/web browser/email client/game device.  Email isn’t good at conversation.  If you are about to reply to an email for a third time, stop.  Pick up the phone.  The issue will be solved quicker, and relationships can be built at the same time.

By the way, you are thinking about this list inaccurately if you think it contains nothing new.

The question isn’t whether it is new, the accurate question with these items is what are you going to do?

Click here to read more…

Of course it’s going to take some discipline to change your habits, but If I can do it so can you. Changing my habits came down to how much I really wanted the extra hours to devote to my interests and my family. That was my incentive to keep turning off the television and stop checking facebook.

I added hours of productive time to my weekly routine by making a few simple changes. Now when someone asks you “How do I get more done during my workday?” you’ll have some effective strategies for them to try.

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