Letting Go: The Benefits of Sharing Responsibility

Letting Go: The Benefits of Sharing Responsibility by Laura Stack #productivity

We've all encountered people who wield their power like a club, whether they work in corporate or government jobs. Until relatively recently, most organizations were hierarchical, and most lower-level workers had little power or autonomy. As new technology has loosened managerial control, this has eased somewhat. While workers exhibit a greater willingness and ability to execute strategy, managers nonetheless often remain reluctant to share responsibility and authority. It may be that in our secret hearts, we all believe the right thing to do is to hold onto all the power we can, especially as we rise into the executive ranks. When you were a kid, your parents probably made you share your toys. You may have done the same with your own kids. However, most people don’t want to share … [Read more...]

Keeping It to Yourself: Five Things a Wise Manager Never Delegates

Keeping It to Yourself: Five Things a Wise Manager Never Delegates by Laura Stack #productivity #leadership

"Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don't interfere as long as the policy you've decided upon is being carried out.” -- Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States. As a leader, you know you must delegate many of the tasks for which you’re ultimately responsible, if you’re to be successful in meeting your goals. You know you can’t do it all yourself. Typically, under-delegation is more common than over-delegation, and most leaders should give more away. That said, there are some things leaders should never delegate. Some tasks obviously shouldn’t be delegated, such as the combination for the safe containing the bank's gold bullion, or the passwords to critical organizational computer files; however, sometimes it’s less clear-cut, and … [Read more...]

How to Lead By Stepping Back: Five Steps to Delegation

How to Lead By Stepping Back: Five Steps to Delegation by Laura Stack #productivity #leadership

"The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it." –- Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States. If you're a reader of my blogs, newsletters, and Tweets, you'll know I've returned repeatedly to the topic of delegation over the years—and for good reason. As a leader, there's no more effective and productive way to handle all your responsibilities. Leadership positions come weighted down with more than their fair share of tasks, because by definition a strategic initiative is more than one person can handle. Effective leaders must parcel out that work and a good deal of the associated authority, so they can continue to think strategically and get things … [Read more...]

Delegation: An Extension of Your Hands

"I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow." -- Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States "The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it." -- Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States. Smart leaders soon learn the value of delegating responsibilities and authority to team members. You can try to do it all, but if you do, you'll keel over within a few weeks from sheer exhaustion. Obviously, you need metaphorical hands to extend your reach. You have a staff for a reason. Ideally, each possesses talents, knowledge, and abilities that combine to form the extra hands Mother Nature didn't see fit to give you. That being the case, … [Read more...]

Delegating to Providers Inside and Outside the U.S.

These days, the ability to effortlessly send data just about anywhere in the world makes international business much simpler and more profitable than ever before. One result is that national borders don't mean as much as they used to; and therefore, offshoring—i.e., delegating specific business functions to service providers in other countries, where labor is cheaper—has become a common practice. Who hasn't contacted a call center and ended up talking to someone with a melodious Indian accent? Offshoring represents a natural evolution of business in the global village. But don't forget the benefits of "inshoring": i.e., outsourcing business functions to providers in your own community, or at least your own country. I don't mean to belittle offshoring by any means; it certainly has its … [Read more...]

Delegation and Workplace Productivity in the Global Village

Delegation and Workplace Productivity in the Global Village

Modern job descriptions, especially those at the managerial level, often specify more responsibilities than anyone can accomplish within an ordinary workweek. This may seem ludicrous at first blush, but it reflects the reality of the business world as it exists today. No one really expects upper-level managers to directly handle all their responsibilities; nor could they. Trying to do so would wreck their lives inside of a week. It’s called "management" for a reason. True achievers know to parcel out most of the items on their plate to subordinates or even to people outside of their organization, before focusing on the few things they do best that profit the company the most and produce the highest value for the time worked. In other words, leaders delegate like crazy to those who can … [Read more...]

Business Productivity: Micromanagement

Know what'll kill employee engagement deader than a doorknob? Micromanaging. Even if you start out with an office full of bright, innovative people, looking over their shoulders and correcting them every step of the way will eventually grind them down. Before long, you'll have a collection of disengaged grumblers who either can't wait to get out from under your thumb, or who just hunker down and don’t do anything, in hopes that it'll soon be over. That's because when you micromanage someone, you're practically shouting in their ear: "You're incompetent! I can't trust you to do the tiniest thing right!" Now, how would that make you feel? If you're a micromanager, you may not realize it; you may just think you're detail-oriented and want to be sure that your employee does everything … [Read more...]


Availability is driven by Activity. Just as setting valid priorities and goals is important, so is accepting your responsibility in carrying them out. You have to structure your schedule very carefully to ensure that things get done—because if you don't, other people will be perfectly happy to structure your schedule for you. Think about it: how many times have you attended a meeting and asked yourself, "Why am I here?" Often, it's because someone decided you should be—without bothering to consider if that was best for you and your productivity goals. You have to be willing to protect your time from everyone who wants a piece of it. Among other things, you must learn to say no when appropriate, to delegate, to cancel unnecessary meetings, to let some tasks go, and to eliminate … [Read more...]

Increasing productivity: 55-1/5 Ways to Boost Productivity Today!

Okay, let’s face it. We’re all trying to do more with less.And chances are that you and your company have already made the big, tough decisions needed to streamline operations. But what about the little things?You can still boost both personal and team productivity in lots of smaller ways that are easy to implement and provide immediate results. Read on for quick tips on getting more done. 1. Hit the ground running. Don’t waste the first hour of the day. As soon as you arrive, focus on getting something done before you even think about checking Facebook or dropping in on a coworker. 2. Decline a meeting. Meetings are necessary. Every meeting is not. Don’t automatically accept every meeting invitation you receive, especially if there is no clear agenda or outcome. 3. Close your e-mail. Do … [Read more...]

Go on a Low-Information Diet and Improve Your Efficiency!

Pretty much anybody you ask will tell you they’re pressed for time. There just aren’t enough hours to get it all done, yadda yadda yadda.  So we prioritize, streamline, and simplify.  You can improve your efficiency until you’re blue in the face, not to mention very tightly wound, but you still aren’t addressing one of the biggest time and energy wasters in your day: incoming information.  As my 13-year-old daughter, Meagan, would text on her phone: “TMI” (translation: Too Much Information). If the 21st century has brought us anything, it is WAY too much information. You can watch several channels full of cable news 24 hours a day. You can surf the internet on any topic until you can’t see straight. Most people could heat their home with the amount of junk mail they receive on a continuous … [Read more...]