They still call it a 40-hour work week, but in the competitive business world today, not many people can get away with putting in just 40 hours. For most people in positions of responsibility, it’s probably closer to 60 hours.
But what if you could motivate your team to generate 60 hours worth of work in only 40 hours on the clock? Wouldn’t everyone be happier with that? Productivity AND free time – what a concept!
So what do you need to do as a leader to achieve those kinds of results? Warning: I’m going to use a phrase here that you’ve heard many times before, but bear with me as I explain – the trick is not to get people to work harder, but instead work smarter.
I know you’re thinking, “what does that really mean, Mark?” Well, it’s not just about emphasizing efficiency or cool technology tools. It’s about empowerment. As leaders, we must recognize that we don’t always have all the answers.
What we need to do, then, is empower and encourage our team members to bring their ideas and their creativity to the table.
For starters, we have to leverage our ability as a leader to create a compelling vision that connects at an emotional level with the people on our team. We must then live that vision day by day in order to gain the trust of our team members. That is how they know the vision is real and that it truly matters to you – the leader that they trust – and to the organization.
At the same time, as we demonstrate our trust in our team, that vision infuses their workplace hopes and dreams. This is how the leader taps into the resources of the team in order to meet challenges head-on with creative solutions and enthusiasm.
The Pareto Principle tells us that 20 percent of our effort, applied in the right way, will give us 80 percent of our return. So if we can do a better job of casting a strong vision and educating our team members on the priorities required to pursue that vision, we can turn them loose.
Inspired in this way, they will put their God-given talents and creativity to work to help us find the best way to produce results and solve problems. That means working reasonable hours Monday through Friday and accomplishing as much as would otherwise require late nights and weekend work.
They get a life and job satisfaction and your organization gets results. Who wouldn’t love that?