Recently, we've been helping a new client get their webinar series transferred over to be supported by our team. Every month, their association hosts at least two such events and that's in addition to live events that happen every quarter. Because the planning cycle for a webinar really should begin at least 6 weeks ahead of the launch date, there's a lot of overlap and a lot of moving parts that need to be coordinated.
If you’ve ever looked at someone super productive and wondered how she (or he) manages to get it all done, the answer might surprise you: That person has great systems.
It’s true. The most productive people all have one thing in common: they don’t reinvent the wheel every day. Instead, they’ve figured out the best, most efficient way to do every task, and they create a system to do just that.
The Women Leaders Association, headquartered in Tattenhall, England, inspires women in (and into) the boardroom.
WLA recently partnered with our team to prepare for an upcoming conference and launch a new website and integrated association management software. Being separated by 3,926 miles and a 6-hour time difference provides a wonderful example of how effective a remote support team can be.
No matter what type of association you lead, your members have at least one key thing in common: They are seekers. They may not have come to you proclaiming such a thing, but they are. Fundamentally, people join associations because they are searching for *something* that they haven't been able to supply for themselves.
Tapping into this secret, unspoken thing which they seek and value above all else can create a complete turnaround in a struggling association. Provide seekers with what they crave and they will swarm around you like hungry fish waiting for you to drop breadcrumbs in the water. They can't wait to hear about your association's newest program or service because it is aligned so well with what they have been seeking.
Even though the concept of virtual administrative support has been around for years, many organizations still struggle with exactly how to make it happen effectively.
Here's how most people delegate:
- Sue feels overwhelmed.
- Sue rushes to find someone to help.
- Sue gives the helper a rapid-fire brain dump of everything that she knows about the task and sends them on their way to do it.
- The helper asks Sue lots of questions that take time to answer.
- Or the helper asks no questions and ends up messing things up.
- Sue jumps back in to do the task herself, proclaiming that outsourcing didn't work.
Strong teamwork is typically thought of as a good organizational asset. Leaders like to form teams. People, for the most part believe in the value and purpose of teams.
You've probably heard:
"Two heads are better than one."
"1 + 1 = 3"
Such common phrases reinforce our belief in the power of teams. That belief is justified. Sometimes.
Once upon a time, on a day that looked a lot like today, Al B. Successful set off down a path that he was certain would lead to his organization’s success. He was excited about what waited at the end of the path – happy customers, stable revenue, industry recognition and more! He couldn’t wait to share those treasures with his team.
So Al begins riding down the path, but after a bit of time passes, he begins to notice something wasn’t quite right about the bicycle he was riding. The wheel, perhaps? It seemed a bit wobbly. “No time to stop today!” Al thought. “Getting down the path is too important!”
You know Seth Godin, right? .... author of more than a dozen books full of business changing advice, like Linchpin, Tribes, Purple Cow, etc.?
Seth has a theory about the most productive thing you can do and he describes it like a pyramid. Starting at the bottom (least impactful) and working our way up (most impactful), he says:
Going from working hard to working smart isn’t always easy. You have to completely rethink how you approach your workday. Many of us struggle to create change because we have to *stop* what we're doing long enough to allow the new process to take root and start to feel natural.
In this blog post, I share 5 reasons why it's worth the effort.
Gabriele Oettingen, a Professor of Psychology from New York University, thinks so. Oettingen spent 20 years researching and testing her theories on productivity, ultimately concluding that optimism and positive fantasies didn’t actually help people reach their goals but instead got in the way.
From my perspective, the issue isn't really about optimism vs. pessimism but rather it reveals the importance of risk identification and mitigation, even for personal goals.
Keeping your employees motivated is not only important for the overall atmosphere in your company, but also when it comes to their productivity. You want them to feel integrated in the process and not feeling like just another brick in the wall. They need to believe in your company's vision and constantly give their best effort day in and day out.
When you are in a leadership position, people naturally look to you to set the expectations for the company or nonprofit organization, so what exactly do you want that to be? Do you want a productive, healthy, happy team who serve your customers / members / stakeholders with a joyful and helpful attitude? Then, *you* need to be modeling it.
Perhaps you've been thinking that things need to change for a while. You're working long hours. You're slogging through your day, putting out fires. You end the day feeling like you didn't get to everything that you really wanted to get done.
You have two choices. You can stay on this energy-crushing path, working hard and sacrificing time with your family, friends and anything you used to enjoy doing. Or you can decisively reclaim your life while still taking care of business.