Moving Beyond Personal Productivity

personal A bigg salute to Stowe Boyd for his recent post called Overload, Shoverload. He argues that personal productivity isn’t important anymore. It’s the productivity of your network that matters.


Listen to podcast this blog post! Click PLAY to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast.


That made us think of Stephen Covey. As he says in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, we have to move from independence to interdependence in order to achieve maximum effectiveness.

In the higher order of things, personal productivity is important, but interpersonal productivity is most important.


marylynn Producing The Bigg Success Show takes a lot of work. We have five deadlines every week. We’ve divided up our duties pretty evenly. But sometimes I get done and George is still working. Sure I could move on to something else I need to do. But in some cases, it’s better if I help him catch up.



georgeWe’re programmed to think that it’s our individual effort that matters. However, in the end it’s the team that wins or loses – helping your team, by helping your team mate, helps you. Mary-Lynn helps me when I need it, so I help her when she needs it.


Interdependence leads us to a new business venture

It’s the network, stupid! That’s the paradigm for the 21st century – for us as individuals and for businesses and other organizations. It’s the end result that matters so we must focus on being effective, not just efficient. Our network can produce results that we couldn’t produce on our own.

Recently, we had an idea for a business. We talked a friend whose business is in the market we were targeting. After our conversation, we had a different idea so we started working on it!

Interdependence got us a better idea!

Now, we could do this whole thing ourselves. However, we have another friend who has a business that dovetails nicely with our expertise. We believe that we can grow the business much faster by working with him.

We’re a couple of months away from launching this national business. So far, it’s taken us two meetings and three series of e-mails.

Interdependence got us further faster!

Perhaps even more importantly, we think we’ll make more money by letting him do what he does best and sticking to what we do best.

Interdependence will make us more productive!

Developing a business at that speed couldn’t have happened if the relationship didn’t exist already. Trust has been built up over time and it’s taken a lot of trust to get to the point we are, especially at the speed we’ve been traveling!

If you’re willing to be truly interdependent, you can enjoy the power of interpersonal productivity. That’s what it takes today to be a bigg success!

Next time, we talk with two experts in leadership about engaging your employees. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Effective Communication Across Department Lines

Communicating is easy, right? The person doing the talking thinks it is! They state their message. Done! The problem is on the other side … how is that message interpreted?

This is especially true when communicating across departments. People with differences – in skill sets, backgrounds, education, and vocabulary – often have difficulty understanding each other.

The book, The Geek Gap, provides a great example. It illustrates the differences between techies (geeks as the authors say) and managers (suits to use the authors’ term).

Knowing how to close the gap is a critical skill for your company’s sake, but also for your own professional advantage. So how do you do it?

First, seek to understand.
We’re borrowing this term from Stephen Covey’s great book,  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Different departments tend to attract different personalities.
Think about your stereotypical geek. They like to solve problems, to fix things. They’re intelligent, but often introverted. They like to work on projects. They’re detail-oriented.

Now think about your stereotypical manager. They rely on their ability to influence people. They’re also intelligent, but more likely extroverted. They bring projects in for others to do. They’re bigg picture people.

Obviously, we are grossly oversimplifying here. And we’re purposefully stereotyping to make a point. We can all think of all kinds of people who don’t fit these traits.

But let’s continue stereotyping to keep making the point!

Geeks see technology as an end unto itself. Suits see technology as a tool to accomplish their goals. Geeks are the craftsmen, suits are managers.

To geeks, the goal is to build that perfect product or system that functions just the way it was designed. To management, the purpose of that perfect product or system is solely to meet larger business objectives.

Each side needs to learn to respect the point-of-view of the other. Suits respecting the craftsmanship and geeks seeing how their work contributes to the mission of the organization.

Second, come to value each other.

These diverse points-of-view strengthen the organization. If we’re both exactly alike, one of us isn’t needed!

The craftsman won’t quit until the end product is virtually perfect. There’s a pride of workmanship. The joy is in the creation. It’s about bringing an idea to life.

The manager won’t quit until the goal is met. He or she takes pride in getting things done efficiently and achieving results. The joy is in creating opportunities for people. It’s about moving the organization forward.

Geeks need the suits or they wouldn’t have any projects to work on. Suits need the geeks or the projects wouldn’t get done. It’s the two working together that creates something greater than they could do on their own.

Our bigg quote today is by George Bernard Shaw, who said:

“The single biggest problem in communication
is the illusion that it has taken place.”

Magical things happen when you communicate effectively. Learn the tricks of the trade so you can pull the rabbit out of the hat when you need it.   

Next time, we’ll answer a question from a listener who just lost her job unexpectedly. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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(Image by happyeclair, CC 2.0)


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