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"It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed." – Napoleon Hill
We all have outside forces who are imposing their priorities on our day and productivity. No matter who you are, where you work, or what you do, there are people who will influence or attempt to take control of your day. And when this happens, we need to figure out how to still get things done.
When we start to see improvement in our productivity, we begin to attract even more attention from the three main external human influences of any job: management, peers, and customers.
Each group of people has their own priorities and goals, attitudes and expectations of you and what you can accomplish for them. We need to know how to navigate these groups throughout the day in order to stay productive and focused.
Our interactions with these groups will sometimes be positive, negative or mutually beneficial. Either way, we need to learn how to work with people regardless of our job or position. Otherwise, we will get trapped in trying to accomplish other people’s priorities and never complete anything.
When it comes to management, peers, and customers, our goal is to be aware of others’ priorities and navigate our interactions in order to stay productive all day long.
Most of us have experienced good and bad management. We have had supervisors and managers who have been there to support us, or they have been a looming force leading with fear and a constant sense of urgency.
You can struggle with productivity with either type of manager. However, the supportive type makes it possible for you to take steps in the right direction and grow into the employee you want to be. The second type of manager tends to see good people quit or move out of their department as quickly as they can.
However, both types of managers have similar goals and priorities; they merely respond to those goals and priorities with completely different strategies. They will either be focused on doing what needs to be done to make it happen, or they respond out of fear and urgency.
What to Expect from Management in Regards to Your Productivity
Your managers and supervisors are focused on three specific things when it comes to your job: the company, themselves, and their relationship with others. These three areas will drive the work they do and how they interact with us. These are their priorities, and we need to be aware of them as we interact on a daily basis.
Our supervisors and managers are focused on the good of the company. They want to see us produce and get our work done. Yet they need to be focused bottom on the bottom line too. They are responsible for their part of the profit line. We must understand this in order to interact properly with them.
It is not bad that this is their focus; in fact, it is good because they help drive our company toward growth, and in most cases, maintain ethical behavior. Our supervisors will always keep us on track toward the end product of our company.
They will also be focused on themselves and their teams. It would be imprudent to think our supervisors and managers don’t have a focus on themselves. They worked hard to become part of the leadership team, and they are often highly talented individuals.
While our job is to produce the end product and move the company’s profit line forward, their job is to make sure we are focused on the overall goal. They are invested in our success or failure.
Lastly, their priorities also focus on the priorities of their manager just like our priorities can be focused on the priorities of our manager. When we consider our interactions with our supervisors and managers, we need to remember they are accountable to another level within the company that is asking for more from them and their teams.
When we understand management’s priorities and goals, we will be able to have a better idea of what they expect from us and what our end product REALLY is for our jobs.
In most cases, we can sum up management’s expectations of us in two ways: 1) get our work done, and 2) produce our end product. However, this can feel very convoluted when they are communicating things we need to improve, especially if those things do not directly impact our end product.
Again, they are expected to have teams who are getting things done and producing as well. However, they are also responsible for the process and the metrics. Things need to be done a certain way, with a focus on accuracy and efficiency. Consequently, management will focus on tasks and process even when they may not directly affect our end product.
For us, the workers, this may sidetrack us from getting things done, doing the important work, and ultimately meeting our end product. We must find ways to balance both objectives and be conscious of the expectations of our managers.
Remember, their main expectation of us is to get things done and produce our end product. Our companies determine the way for work is done and our supervisors and managers will work within those parameters.