Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category
“Nick is a bit fragile and needs lots of rest and time off. We all need to look after him”. This reported comment by a party colleague followed the Deputy Prime Minister’s decision to close his red box at 3pm every day. News articles are quoting comments like ’work shy’ or ‘part timer’.
Why is there so much negativity out there when someone who holds immense responsibility attempts to manage his time to be more effective? It’s not as if he is switching off at 3pm every day, he is just putting some boundaries out there to try to put some work structure to his day. It doesn’t mean that he won’t respond to any crisis or urgent issues that arise. He is giving parameters to those with whom he works so he can give his best and achieve optimum productivity. Whether we agree with the political results of his endeavours is irrelevant – it is how he judges he can achieve his best results.
By putting some structure in place it helps to prevent overwhelm. If your ‘red box’ or in tray keeps building there is no way you will reach the bottom. Or if you do, how thorough will you have been and how many mistakes will you make? It is the same for your ‘to do’ list. By placing a line under what you can realistically achieve in a day, allowing some time for new urgent items, you will be inspired to work through it to the end instead of flagging as you know what you are trying to achieve is just not physically possible.
So instead of throwing out negative comments about someone in a position of great responsibility for striving to manage his time, let’s take a leaf out of Nick Clegg’s book. Time is finite, so work out what works best for us as individuals so that we are achieving maximum productivity in the time we have available.
This was a question put to me by a successful owner manager at a networking event last week. This question is becoming increasingly common as profit margins for small business owners are getting squeezed with less scope for offering financial incentives.
Keeping your staff engaged without a financial incentive can be tough but if we all look to play to our strengths, I truly believe that the innate satisfaction from our work will go a long way to maintaining loyalty and achieving top performance from each individual.
Too many managers waste time and energy trying to get their staff to improve what is labelled as a weakness, rather than focusing their effort, energy and time on getting them to do more of what they do best – their strengths.
As a manager in both the private and public sector, I focused on getting my immediate team to do what they did best and I loved the challenge of persuading managers to draw up job roles with the staff to ensure that each team member also do what they did best. I would hear comments like, ‘well it is only fair that everyone has to do the same’. What is fair about getting someone to do a task they find a struggle when another team member loves it? If an individual is unhappy in their job they are not going to give their best performance which will inevitably undermines business performance.
Whatever job you are doing, if you are doing what you enjoy – you will want to do more of it because you know you are good at it and you get great results! Great results attract recognition and praise. The secret is to know what recognition your staff want – and it is not always financial. Recognition and praise builds confidence, feeds healthy egos and is a source of motivation as staff will know you value their contribution thus earning their loyalty in these challenging times.