Level of seniority has nothing to do with productivity

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change” - Charles Darwin

It’s incorrectly assumed that senior managers are more productive than the people who work for them. While a manager might be the absolute best candidate for their specific job, title bears no correlation to a level of personal productivity. In fact, many senior managers are so busy that they’ve fallen into unproductive habits. When this happens it’s critically important to improve personal productivity to unlock the individual to drive targeted business outcomes.

Being productive or unproductive has no demographic. Workers who I support typically fit into 1 of the following 3 categories:

  • They have some limitations because they only know what they know
  • They have some good basics in place but there's an opportunity to expand and leverage further
  • They were once effective but the way they work hasn’t been able to scale as workload and demands have increased

Progressive-minded managers and companies recognise that workers can waiver over time between being productive to becoming somewhat unproductive. Think when everything flowed - how good did it feel? Now, what about the difference when making progress was difficult and slow - how frustrating was that? The tell-tale signs when it’s not quite right include:

  • Not meeting deadlines
  • Not achieving targets
  • Struggling to keep up with email (did you know that professionals typically spend 28% of their time each week on email?)
  • Having to attend too many meaningless meetings that don’t add value (white collar workers typically attend approximately 60 meetings per month, yet 50% of meeting time is wasted)
  • Experiencing higher levels of stress
  • Just a feeling in the gut

Regardless as to how inexperienced or experienced someone is, it’s imperative to establish your working rhythm that is tailored to your specific strengths, weaknesses and preferences. While there are many 1 size fits all approaches, success is limited when it’s not aligned with your unique attributes.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that productivity can only help the more inexperienced members of the team. Even experienced managers can benefit from coaching or mentoring to unlock the best version of themselves.