How to quickly become more productive and effective?

As a data leader, is there something you can do that can help you become more productive and effective at your work, in as little as seven days?

There are two topics that have come up so often in my coaching/mentoring calls and with focus, they are often the easiest to overcome to get significant results.

As data leaders, there is intense pressure and expectations to deliver results. Every leader has a different kind of challenge, opportunity, budget, support, etc.

However, a common mistake most of us do is NOT doing enough of two things that are in our control.

Because we don't pause and think about them, they become invisible barriers to our performance. If eliminated you would see immediate results not just in your individual performance but widespread benefits to the company and your team.

So, what are those challenges that are blocking you?

1. NOT Delegating Enough:

Yes, we all have heard this many times, but when it comes to doing, it just doesn't get done. Sometimes we don't even think if someone else can do or take our place.

You are invited to a meeting and you go ahead and attend it. How many of those hour-long meetings where you speak for 2 minutes can be avoided or answered by email? How many of those stakeholder buy-in conversations could have been handed over to a director, or team lead from your team?

In addition to saving time and effort for you, by delegating, you are also providing much-needed exposure to your rising stars to the senior-leadership personnel within your company. They are getting first-hand exposure to what it means to rise up in the management and leadership areas and run an organization. You will be building a strong second-line to support you in your growth.

Also, what you can delegate is not a fixed list of things but varies based on the situation, people, and whom you are delegating to. As leaders, it's easy to draw a line and split roles and responsibilities, with definite boundaries on who does what within the group. That approach worked for hierarchical teams and rigid organizations.

2. NOT Decisive Enough: 

We need good information to make sensible decisions. But are you actually self- imposing conditions, creating doomsday assumptions of perceived risks, dragging your decisions waiting for that last piece of information? There level of information needed and conditions to be met will vary depending on the criticality and uniqueness of your situation. 

All of your decisions do not carry the same importance, risks, or value to the company. But are you applying a common approach and set of requirements towards making these decisions? The process you use may be slowing down progress.

You may be the bottle neck in some of these decisions. And can the decision-making be shifted to one of your team leads? If you don't trust one to make the right decision can you assign two of your leads to discuss and come up with what would be good for the team/company? 

It is doable. delegating decision making is a good way to create faster flow within the group. 

If you are worried about risk, see where you are creating unnecessary conditions or added expectations. What can you get rid of in your conditions? Where are you asking for too much? Which areas can you go lean?

Try an inventory exercise, identify the blockages, and create alternate options within 7 days. Implement this for a month and see the progress for yourself.

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