In addition to smoothing the way for your team by removing procedural obstacles, it behooves you to facilitate their work in other ways as well. The less time they have to waste, the easier it will be for them to maximize their productivity and their ability to execute in the moment. The enablers I suggest in this chapter include:
1. Employ the THINK method. Urge your team members to better themselves by Taking care of their health, Honing their memories, Improving focus, Nourishing their brains, and leveraging Knowledge as power.
2. Keep technology up-to-date. The right equipment—such as fast computers or double monitors, the right software—such as instant messaging and webcasting, and the right equipment—such as video conferencing, can all increase productivity when used correctly. Just be sure to strike the proper balance; weigh the pros and cons of any new technology before adopting it, and be vigilant in its application.
3. Triage the non-urgent. Trim away anything that doesn’t contribute to strategic execution. If the biggest problem is hidebound attitudes and out-of-date strategy, take an ax to it! When cutting, look for long-term advantages, not short-term profits—and realize you’ll have to remove something for everything you add, or you and your teammates risk stress and overwork.
4. Clear communication. Keep your phrasing and delivery as clear as possible to maximize productivity. Be assertive and straightforward; never hem and haw. Use simple language and avoid jargon. Immediately acknowledge any communications you receive, and require acknowledgment from those you communicate with. Let them ask questions until they understand what you need. Time is money, so waste as little of it as you can.
Keep a tight grip on the realization that you’re primarily the visionary and facilitator on your team. It’s rare that you’ll be the one down there on the front line making it happen, so do everything you can to make life easier for those responsible for execution. The easier it is for them the move forward, the more productive you’ll all be. You’ll do more with less work and shine while doing it.