From Maker to Manager: Personal Productivity

This is the second post in an ongoing series about the transition from maker to manager.1

Recently I wrote about a few things I’m learning as I move from being a maker on a small team to a manager as the company grows. One of the points I made was about productivity:

Judging personal productivity is a very different game

When I was primarily in execution mode—when my hands were on the front lines of where our product met the customer—productivity was more a trail of very tangible things/tasks/stuff I had accomplished. Now, I serve a team of people who spend much more time on the front lines than I do. (It’s worth noting that I still spend time there, but that’s another post for another day.)

Now my productivity is much less about my inbox or my to-do list as it is about making sure my team has what they need in order to succeed.

That’s been a paradigm shift. Instead of asking, “what do I need to get done today,” or “what’s on my list today,” I’m working hard to ask, “what are the people on my team working on today/this week/this month and how can I support them?”

Support is a broad term, though, and goes far beyond just the short-term tactical stuff that keeps operations running. Sometimes support simply means being available. Other times it’s thinking hard about what the team will need in the long run, what things we could change or do differently to be better, how we can share what we’re learning and shorten the learning curve for new hires and, of course, how we can have fun along the way Thankfully, I’m privileged to work with people who are thinking through the same sorts of things so that we can address the challenges we face as a team together.

Perhaps the most rewarding part of the transition is realizing that my success isn’t my own anymore—it’s my team’s—sharing celebration makes it all the more sweet.

1. You can see all of the posts in the series, From Maker to Manager, here.

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