Boost Your Team’s Productivity? Really?

As Manager or Leader, one of the most critical problems is How to increase our Team’s Productivity. We constantly think about it and keep reading trying different things to achieve it.

Some of the main points (From different sources) are:

1. Set the best example for your team.
2. Set Goals and Clarify expectations.
3. Encourage open communication.
4. Give team members autonomy.
5. Give team decent breaks or holidays, so that they are not overworked.

There might be more…But does these work?

One of my friend who is based out of California(US), had set up an office in Delhi and did all of the above but the team was not productive. Moreover, the employees’ came late and had started taking things for granted. He wasted 6 months and couldn’t figure out the problem. In the end, he hired an experienced Ops manager. Who rolled out his stick, kept attendance registers, fixed timings, a penalty in coming late etc and Baam!!! –  It started improving. Last I discussed he was happy with the output and didn’t care much about the above rules.

Take away:– Some of these rules might work in a culture, probably US-based team, but may not work in other culture. All the books/literature we read are typically based on US environment and hence should be taken with pinch of salt. It might not work in a different country or culture. In the Indian context where we have been trained to obey the rules from childhood and even in school/colleges being driven by “Stick” more than “Carrot” these rules as it is might not work.

We need to have “Carrot” and “Stick” in right mixture…

What rules do you think applies to the Indian context? Please share your comments…

6 Ways to Go from Good to Great

What we can learn from Good-to-great companies?

How does strategic management differ at good-to-great companies versus mediocre ones?

# Finding a simple “Hedgehog concept (Shaded part – Intersection of passion, skill, and economic value)“ provides a clear path to follow.


# Success comes from many tiny incremental pushes in the right direction.

New technology should be viewed only as an accelerator toward a goal, not as a goal itself.

How do the people and culture differ at good-to-great companies versus mediocre ones?

Team drives successful transformations from good to great. Right people in the right place are the foundation of greatness.

Success requires confronting the nasty facts, while never losing faith. Leaders must create an environment where the brutal facts are aired without hesitation.

A culture of rigorous self-discipline is needed to adhere to the simple Hedgehog concept.

Follow the above steps to build a great company.

Scattered Priorities

Scattered Priorities is one of the biggest hindrances in achieving success, as they say, “If you have more than 3 priorities than there are no priorities”.

It’s true not only as leaders, managers or entrepreneurs but at our personal level as well. Think about it when u have tried to accomplish too many things nothing happens.

So why do we do it? Why we set ourselves for failure aiming too many things to achieve? Here are few:

1. Our Fear of Failure or Insecurity:

To safeguard ourselves from failure we build a facade of different priorities or tasks. But imagine the fallacy of this, if you fail in your prime task or priority, is it not better to fail and try again, than to compromise? As said, “There is no reason to have Plan B because it distracts from Plan A“.

2. Lack of Self-Believe:

We do not want to commit to one thing, as we are in self-doubt. It might be because of what others think about us or past failures or lack of determination to make it happen.

3. Too many options leading to indecision:

Sometimes we get too many choices to decide and instead of taking the time to decide, we pick 2 or 3 options and start running with it.

4. Smart-A** expects as s/he can do 10 things together, so can the team or subordinates:

This is true for leaders, entrepreneurs, and managers. They think that since they can design, review business, talk sales simultaneously hence everybody should do 5 things together.
It’s a big fallacy since the leader would have reached this level of productivity in the field with almost 10+ years of experience or more. Expecting same with the team is sure recipe for failure. A team should have a coherent goal and corresponding set of tasks to be achieved. Just to keep them busy with more tasks helps to do nothing.

What else do you think leads us to scatter ourselves and setting for failure? Please share your thoughts in comments

Getting your smallest point across is critical…..

Have you faced a situation where u think that if you say something to someone it will be ignored. It can be anything as small as telling your friends “No” for a party or letting your manager know about a project detail to make better decision.

In all these situations we assume that our opinion really might not have changed it. Or would have not impacted in anyway. But these small things matter most not just because of the impact it makes in the current situation but it also becomes a habit.

It matters even if you are best performer in your group, showing concern and giving appropriate feedback is what a Leader or Manager looks at his subordinates.

It is also very critical in household, if you do not share minor fears or thoughts with your spouse or parents how will you make bigger decisions together with them? This is where lot of times it leads to so much discrepencies that it results in either divorce or losing your child or misunderstanding your parents.

Also with this small step everyone will start recgonizing that i can talk to him/her and might get good suggestion or inputs.

So whether you are a friend, spouse, or employee, next time an opinion comes and you think its appropriate to say it, please speak up and be polite even if its not to the other likings they will understand.

And whats more you will feel much better about yourself!

Are you too busy..

Are you too busy? Here is a litmus paper test: once or twice in a day, talking to your friends or families you will utter, I will call you back I am busy now, or sorry I am busy will call you later. Or if some good idea comes to your mind, you will say not now let me finish this task first!

Ever wondered why are we so busy, are we really working so hard or it’s just grinding into the day to day life making us busy. In both cases “Life is happening to us while we are being busy”.

Being busy makes us feel important and taking time off for ourselves makes us feel bad, feel guilty. As if not being busy we will not accomplish! We have tons of reasons to be busy.

Successfully people are not busy, they are working hard and are more productive, on a mission to accomplish things. Busy people have many priorities whereas productive people have few priorities.

Busy people want others to be busy, they want to be valued for their effort, not for their results. Productivity is about valuing the journey towards excellence, not any set of activities.

So going forward which category we want to belong to? Don’t be busy, create something amazing. That’s the best reward.

33 percent rule for life….

The rule requires you to spend 33% of your time with the people you can mentor, a third with those on your level, and a third with people who can mentor you.

And there is greater reasoning behind spending time in such proportion.

– As a mentor you keep helping people, and feel gratified.
– As a peer you also enjoy your success with equals and
– last but not the least, as a student you keep yourself challenging and out of comfort zone by staying with your mentors.