Thursday, May 26, 2016

How to Learn a Productivity System Part 6: Making it Work

Is your work enjoyable?

If it is, then you might be more amenable to call everything you do at home and at the office work.  If not, let’s reframe for a second.

Work = Effort toward a Goal

If the equation holds true, then what you do at home (home maintenance, vacations, personal finance, raising kids, plans of the future, health fitness and hobbies) is also WORK.

What’s interesting about calling all of our life activity ‘work’ is the sense that work is something that you do with purpose.  You want a result for your effort.

The business mind is focused on achieving the business goals, the revenue, the growth, and the sustainability of business.  

The personal mind is focused on seeing how to prepare kids for life in the future, enjoying a vacation, re-training for another career, reducing the stress in life, spending more time with your spouse, changing ingrained habits or starting on a bucket list item.

The business mind has a natural craving to design and execute goals. The rewards are very tactile.  When you do a good job for a customer you might get a thank you, and of course you get paid.  

For salaried folks, you might not see the transaction so vividly, but we want to get the project or tasks done and often we are measured during the year for achieving specific goals.  Achieving goals results in a better review and potential earnings growth, maybe a promotion with more scope.

The personal mind requires a lot more proactive behavior to create the goal.  Personal goals are not laid out by the leadership of the business, they are created through personal leadership.

Personal Leadership

For specific steps on how to employ personal leadership see the prior articles on “How to Learn a Productivity System.”  Part 3, 4, and 5 are focused almost completely on personal leadership.  Parts 1 and 2 are focused on tactical ways that you can create time in your day so you can spend more hours doing the strategic tasks needed to increase your personal leadership.

How to Learn a Productivity System Part 1: Capture

How to Learn a Productivity System Part 2: Actions

How to Learn a Productivity System Part 3: Planning

How to Learn a Productivity System Part 4: Goals

How to Learn a Productivity System Part 5: Evaluate Life Dreams

Which is more important, business mind or personal mind?

That is a tough question.

The business mind provides the How-the monetary sustenance.  

The personal mind provides the Why-the Character and the Motivations.

The answer: They are both important.  They both impact each other.  

A personal example of interleaving the personal and business mind

In 2005 I took a role as a “Team Lead/Scrum Master.My leadership style was centered around high volume and persuasive intimidation.

In 2008, I was promoted to department manager and I WAS SCARED SPIT-LESS. I had engaged in numerous technical and political battles with my peers over the years, and now I was taking over leadership of a team that knew my reputation as loud, overbearing, manipulative person. I had created animosity with a couple of the most senior and respected individuals by forceful getting my way using pushy tactics.

Answering the wakeup call

Faced with managing a team that saw me as an antagonist rather than a helpful resource, I realized I needed to drastically alter course.

In the months and years that followed my promotion, I studied hard to change my mindset and my behaviors (and I still study hard to this day). I read book after book and listened to people in the organization that showed management skills coincident with what I was learning about effective personal and public leadership. I moved my personal style from directive-authoritative to servant-leader.
This personal study to improve character created a deep well of good behaviors and resulted in better quality of life in both my personal sphere and in the business arena.
People in my organizations gave me feedback that they had grown to respect me over time as I demonstrated consistent other-centered leadership.

Personal leadership has a broad impact

Isn’t it interesting that the personal mind has such a great impact everywhere?  It might be the more important mind after all.

The moral of the story is this: No matter if it’s personal or business it’s WORK.  And if it’s work, it needs a system to move toward the goal. 

One of my favorite authors, David Allen, has a great book on this very topic called, Making it All Work.  He provides an entire book dedicated to creating a unified productivity mindset around personal and business goals. David Allen’s previous book, Getting Things Done describes a comprehensive productivity system which is now known globally as GTD.

What is not working in your personal or business system?  Write a comment or send me an e-mail and let me know?