Management & Leadership by Keywords

by | Sep 18, 2020

Leadership and management are two of the most important concepts for businesses to consider when it comes to productivity and personal development.

Whilst most people will be familiar with these buzzwords, learning essential skills in these areas can be complex and take years to master. However, there are a number of simple concepts and practical ideas that underpin great leadership and effective management, which will benefit employees in positions of responsibility.

For this reason, the Leadership and Management by Keywords series is a great starting point for those looking to hone their skills.


The well-known ‘P’ word is talked about all the time. Productivity in lockdown, productivity when working from home, national productivity tables – it’s a topic that appears regularly in the media as organisations search for ways to enhance their output levels.

Although everyone has a vague idea of what productivity is and how it should be measured, it can be difficult for some to give a clear definition when asked.

In our Effective Personal Productivity programme, lesson one starts by asking people to give their own definition of what productivity means to them, their role, their business and their industry. Over the years, this has been one of the most challenging exercises for participants. An interesting realisation.

Whilst there’s been a lot of discussion around improving productivity and matching the output levels seen by other countries, it can be difficult for organisations to address the issue without having a clear understanding of what productivity is in the first place.

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort.” – Paul J. Meyer

This formula is a good starting point for how to calculate productivity:

A popular definition is that productivity means doing the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, and for the right length of time.

In No BS Time Management, Dan Kennedy said:

“Productivity is the deliberate, strategic investment of your time, talent, intelligence, energy, resources, and opportunities in a manner calculated to move you measurably closer to meaningful goals.”

This adds a vital element to the picture – progress towards meaningful goals. Productivity must start with goals and strategically identified outcomes, which everyone in your team is working effortlessly to achieve. If someone hasn’t grasped organisational and personal goals, then productivity improvement is virtually impossible.

Therefore, it’s possible to conclude this brief exploration of productivity with two key questions:

  • What are my personal and group goals?
  • What are the best ways to achieve those goals?

If you’d like more information and guidance around this topic, then register for our next Leadership & Management by Keywords session where we’ll discuss productivity in more depth:

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