From the Ask Tom mailbag –
You talk about time-leverage. You talk about working one hour to gain two hours productivity. How does that work?
No manager can afford to work at a time ratio of 1:1. Working one hour to gain one hour’s productivity is a shell game for amateurs. Even working managers need a significant focus on time-leveraged activity. How does a manager work for one hour and gain two hour’s productivity, or work one hour and gain five hours productivity?
The central element of leverage comes from delegation. With a five hour project, rather than do the work yourself, try this –
- Call a 20-minute meeting with three of your team members.
- In the meeting, you describe your vision for project completion.
- Describe the performance standards for project completion (including quality and time frame).
- The rest of the twenty minute meeting is a discussion of the action steps and who will be responsible for what.
- Schedule two follow-up meetings (ten minutes each).
As the manager, you end up with less than one-hour of meetings, while your team members work five hours to complete the project. You work one hour, you get five hours of productivity. Ratio (1:5).
Here’s is the challenge, what does (1:10) look like? I consistently work with executives whose goal is (1:100), one hour’s work to produce one-hundred hours of productivity. How about you, what is your ratio?