Productivity is very much a leadership issue

Posted by Dermot Crowley on 23rd August 2023

I bumped into a client in a deli the other day, and she told me that she had been talking to her team recently, who had all participated in my training. They remarked on how I seemed to have disappeared a bit. John Lennon once wrote that ‘Life is what happens when you are busy making plans’. So true. Some unexpected events on the personal front have consumed my focus over the last couple of months, but as I come up for air again, I am excited to get back to some of those plans that I was working on.

One of these plans is the launch of my new book, Lead Smart. This bookends the ‘Smart’ trilogy, and will provide a highly practical guide for leaders at all levels to lead productivity in their teams. The idea that productivity is a leadership issue is a really important concept for me. I think about leadership as a rope, with multiple strands making up that rope. Productivity is one of those strands, and I would even say that productivity is one of the core strands in the rope. What better use of a leader’s time than increasing the capability and capacity of their team?

But I worry sometimes that as leaders, we are sometimes too busy to lead, and to work proactively on the development of our people. When we find ourselves drowning in a deluge of emails, running from meeting to meeting all week long, and constantly having to divert of focus to the latest urgent issue, it can be hard to do the things that have the moist impact in our role.

That is why we must put our own personal productivity, and the productivity of our team, front and centre. This goes beyond just organising training at your next team offsite. How we organise ourselves, and how we work together needs to become an ongoing conversation, and as a leader, we are the ones that need to drive that conversation.

Some useful questions to ask yourself to gauge the health of your approach to leading productivity are:

  • Is my personal productivity approach as good as it needs to be to serve my objectives and my team?
  • Is my team’s approach to productivity as up to date and consistent as it could be?
  • Do we work in healthy productivity cultures (Communication, Meetings, Collaboration and Urgency) that allow productivity to flow?
  • Do I truly lead productivity within my team, or do I adopt a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to productivity?

Over the next couple of months, I will be unbundling some of the key ideas from Lead Smart. But if you really want to get your head around leading productivity, grab a copy from your favourite bookstore or online retailer. Pre-orders are open now on Amazon and Booktopia, and the book will be officially realeased on 27th September.

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