Intentional Productivity & Leadership
Both productivity and leadership are rooted in action. Productivity is, at its essence, goal-directed action; leadership is, at its essence, facilitating productivity in a group of people. At Productive For Good, we focus on what we call intentional productivity and intentional leadership.
Productivity and leadership are INTENTIONAL when they are...
Your actions are in alignment with your goals and personal values (and those of your group).
Instead of acting on auto-pilot, you act with awareness of what you’re doing and why.
You feel that you have control over how you act and greater control over the outcomes of your actions.
You’re not effective by luck, you’re effective by design. You intentionally develop strategies that are more likely to produce the outcomes you are seeking.
Long-term effects and outcomes are given more weight than short-term fleeting gains.
Intentional action creates more space, more breathing room, more freedom for choice in our lives. This space is where we can plant the seeds for other goals we wish to pursue ourselves (e.g., learning new skills, social action, etc.) or to enable others to pursue.
Our Productivity Superpower and Leadership Superpower systems, described below, are what give you the knowledge and tools needed to find your own intentional productivity and leadership.
The Productivity Superpowers
We’ve integrated different areas of psychological research to create a productivity system that focuses on 4 key factors that enable productivity – we call these the productivity superpowers. If you’re looking to increase your own productivity, these are the superpowers you need. If you’re in a leadership role and want to help them to improve their productivity, these superpowers are a good place to start. Other leadership-specific superpowers are described later.
If you’re tired, stressed, unmotivated, and can’t concentrate, your productivity will suffer. You need practice with different research-based strategies (e.g., specific meditation practices) for managing your internal state.
What tasks should you be working on today? Do you trust that your list of tasks is complete and accessible, or do you worry that it’s missing important tasks or that you won’t see them in time? You need a task-management system you can trust.
What sources of distraction are in your environment? Are you getting constant email and social media notifications? You need strategies for managing your environment.
Do you end your day feeling like you spent your time well? Do you feel like you’re in control of how your time gets spent? You need a time-management system that gives you control.
Self control is the ability to intentionally coordinate one’s attention, skills, and action to achieve a goal. This is essentially the heart of productivity. Self control is what results from the 4 superpowers described above. Combined, these superpowers improve a person’s self control and decrease the effort needed to exert that self control.
The Leadership Superpowers
So how do the productivity superpowers relate to leadership? First of all, you need to have these productivity superpowers so that you are productive in your leadership tasks. In addition, one of the core functions of leadership is to enable your group to be productive. So to lead well requires understanding these productivity superpowers and how you can use them in your leadership. Though the productivity superpowers, by themselves, are only one part effective leadership. In our leadership system, there are five leadership superpowers.
Note that the leadership superpowers don’t use the “control” terminology. With our own productivity, we strive to control our internal and external circumstances to the extent possible in order to maximize our productivity and well-being. When it comes to leading others, we offer guidance and direction. We’re not trying to control our group in the same way that we try to control our own productivity – such terminology would give the impression of leaders forcefully exerting power over others, which isn’t in the employees’, or the organization’s, best interests. On the contrary, leadership should make it easier for group members to do what they intrinsically want to do: their best work in the service of a social group or organization that they care about. This is what the leadership superpowers are all about.
The 5 leadership superpowers are...
How you lead yourself to be intentionally productive is important practice for how you lead others. And if you’re unproductive, you’ll simply be less effective at taking action on your group’s behalf.
You’re leading a group of people who share certain values, beliefs, goals, etc. The cohesiveness of your group around this shared identity can strongly influence your group’s collective productivity.
One of your core tasks as a leader is to make it easier for your group’s members to individually and collectively work towards the group’s goals.
The quality and strength of connections between you, group members, and the group’s vision all influence people’s motivation and ability to be productive.
Going with your gut will often take you in the wrong direction. You also need to collect the right types of feedback from your group and external environment so that you can adjust how you use your other leadership superpowers as needed.
What do we mean by "superpower"?
We define a superpower as an ability to influence someone or something to a degree not possessed by the average person. Most people have little control over their productivity and if they are productive, it’s more a result of luck than design. This means having influence over your productivity would be a superpower, because few people have it! Though we think the world would be a better place if productivity superpowers were spread much more widely throughout our society – that’s our goal.
The leadership superpowers give you the ability to more directly influence group action and positive change. These superpowers are what naturally effective leaders do without knowing it and what other leaders desperately need. At the heart of the leadership superpowers is the idea that leaders only have the strength given to them by people willingly following the leader and welcoming their guidance. This means the superpowers can only be used to uplift people and not in a manipulative manner.
Ready to develop your own superpowers?
We have a practical, concise, and research-based online course for that. With a money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose.