Leaders are tasked with accomplishing a great deal in any given day. Whether they use a recognized lean management program or have floundered their way into a workable system, effective leaders have a few basic characteristics in common. Here are four productivity traits shared by some top organizational leaders.
Establish Clear Goals
Productivity begins with clear expectations. There is no way to quantify chaos. Leaders must identify specific goals and then take intentional actions toward meeting those goals. Each day should be a tribute to the big picture goals, not a race to scratch items off a to-do list.
Have a Supporting Cast
Effective leaders know how to scout, hire, and train the best candidates for each role within the organization. Productivity is not a one-way street. Leaders model productivity from the top down, and each worker has the opportunity to manage up in several ways. Employees who maintain a great attitude and work ethic inspire others to do the same, and the overall company culture represents increased productivity.
Avoiding unnecessary distractions is a vital trait for any effective leader. However, establishing good habits can be a difficult challenge for new leaders. The easiest way to achieve this goal is to record daily events for about a week. Review the record for time wasters and learn to budget time more effectively. This includes setting boundaries on electronic devices, email, and even meetings.
An effective leader will have a schedule flexible enough to accommodate emergencies and relevant opportunities. Eliminating unnecessary meetings can easily free up several hours per week. By setting boundaries on irrelevant tasks and appointments, leaders can significantly increase their productivity. Lesser tasks and meetings can be attended by reliable staff who will report back with actionable items.
Effective leaders who put in the work to get organized and implement these tips will no doubt reap the rewards of increased productivity. A clear calendar and email inbox allow room for more important tasks to be managed. To maintain momentum and productivity, leaders must consistently review their habits and daily schedules. The regular review will prevent poor work habits from encroaching on newly learned tricks to productivity.