The results gap – part 4 – The lie of ‘busyness’

Last week I considered the question “Do I adjust spending regularly to reflect actual results?” This week I consider the effectiveness of the business and how the ‘lie of busyness’ can leave us working harder but achieving less, thus contributing to the results gap.

The lie of ‘busyness’ – working harder not smarter

I don’t know many business owners that don’t end up working more than they would like and in my own business I know that I am often not working effectively. This is often as I am not working as business owner but instead I am filling in as receptionist, filing clerk, tea lady and office cleaner. In fact, I often hide in these roles when I’m trying to avoid things in my ‘too hard to do pile’, which will actually make a difference – for example tackling a staff performance issue or calling an unhappy or difficult client.

Actually, I am often most effective in my role as business leader, when I am in the shower, walking in the park, cycling to work or making dinner. It is these times, when I am not absorbed with the ‘doing’, that I am able to think about my business, notice where it does and doesn’t work well and see the changes I need to make to make it work better.

That doesn’t mean that there are not times that I need to be a receptionist or a cleaner. It is in fulfilling these roles too, that I ensure I stay connected to what happens in the business day to day, this in turn informs that thinking; but if I spend all my time doing these jobs then I can only expect to receive pay appropriate to that level of work.

As you reflect back on the year, where did you waste time and energy and which actions were most effective in obtaining your results? What about your team?

Next week in our final post we consider the impact of the unexpected and our resilience as businesses and leaders to adjust to it. Again I’d love to hear any comments you may have on this blog series, so please do get in touch!

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