Do you remember the physics definition of “Work”?  Specifically, it’s moving ‘X’ pounds ‘Y’ distance.

The next definition is significant as well.

Managerial Talent can be defined as: The behavior exhibited by a manager which increases the amount of productive, results-oriented, and profitable behavior on the part of others in the organization on a daily basis. 

This definition assumes:

  • That desired results are clearly defined and,
  • That the behaviors leading to those results are known.

Understanding both definitions is important to a manager or leader.

Let’s tie them together…

If you pushed on one of the walls of your office for a whole work day and it didn’t move, did you work?  Certainly not!  Energy expended doesn’t matter.  The question is: What did I accomplish?

 Indeed, if I was responsible for delivering newspapers and I drove around all day but didn’t deliver a single one, was I productive?  I was busy!  However,  not productive, right?  The productive behavior is the delivery of the newspapers.  The desired result is 100% of subscribers got their papers on time.


A key takeaway:

Never confuse motion with progress and activity with results.  Motion and activity are not always “Work”.  The behavior is not productive if it doesn’t meet the definition of “Work” as defined above.


Have you ever defined what it means for you to be personally productive in your role as a manager or leader?  Do your people have a clear definition of what it means to be productive in their roles?


If the answer is “no” my suggestion would be to do it now!  Make sure specific desired results are defined.  Not activity.


Want some extra credit?  Have each of your employees define what they think it means for them to be productive in their role.  You do the same from your perspective of their role.  Next,  have a meeting to see how close they are.  This may be one of the most powerful exercises you ever do!


Feel free to contact me with your results.  Especially, if they show everyone has very different views of what their roles are.  I have a long track record of helping leaders get more “work” out of activity!