Organizations love to amplify busyness. They want everyone to be busy. But you and I both know that busyness does not equal value.
The cult of busyness leads to bad work, half finished projects, and burnout. It is your job as a leader to identify what value your team brings and lift up the individuals who do the work that allows them to bring value, not the amount of time they spend at their desk.
The world rewards value, not time spent | Transcript
This transcript was created automatically using a speech-to-text software and lightly edited by a human. Some errors may still exist.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the quote “The world rewards value provided, not time spent”. Now it’s the internet and it’s hard to attribute where that quote originates. Uh… it’s definitely not my own idea, but I’ve been thinking a lot about that quote. Especially watching the quote-unquote “great resignation” as more and more of us have realized that the company that we work for, the organization that we are putting our time into, they’re not paying us for the amount of time that we spend on that job. Rather they’re paying us for the value that we provide, because that’s what the world rewards. It rewards value.
But, there is this expectation that you would have a set amount of time. Eight hours a day, 40 hours a week, but we know that’s not true because the organizations have slowly crept in more and more and more into our personal life. Texts and Slack after hours, answering emails on weekends, having Saturday morning meetings or Thursday evening meetings, doing video chat from our phone while we’re driving… We’re finding more ways that the organization can creep into our personal life and as we’ve been working from home, for those of us that got that opportunity, or for those of us that are still in the office, or on the job, and have realized that me sitting in this chair for eight hours a day doesn’t always mean that’s the value that you’re getting out of me. I’ve, I can do this job in less or more depending on the day.
But, what I really want is, I really want the flexibility and the trust from the organization to work when I need to, at the speed that I need to, and not judge me based on the amount of time that I spend on this job. Rather, the value that I provide. Because, if the organization just needed a seat filler then why did they do nine weeks worth of interviews and… and processing, over five team interviews and proof of work and all this extra stuff they do to “find the right people” if in reality what they wanted was just a seat filler.
They wanted you because of the value that you provide the job that you do, and that’s really, really important for us as leaders to understand that we need to emphasize the value that our team brings, not the amount of time that they work on something. Just because you put 100 hours into something doesn’t mean it’s going to be successful. It needs to bring value to the person that you’re providing it to. Like, for me in marketing, if I spend 40 hours writing a blog post, or I spend 1 hour writing a blog post, if they drive the same amount of traffic, the 1 hour one was the more cost effective and provided more value to the organization because I spent less time on it. It wasn’t about the amount of time that I did, it’s the value that I provided and we need to, as leaders, need to analyze what is it that our team can do to bring the most value, not spend the most time.
That’s where we get lost, because the organization encourages the culture of “busyness”. The busier you are, clearly the more work that you’re getting done. The more meetings you have, the more people see you in meetings, the more moving around that you do, the more you’re just stressed at your desk and people see that that’s what you’re doing. Your busyness must mean that you’re providing value. But we all know that’s not true. Especially if you’ve ever done something like, I don’t know, book a bunch of meetings on your calendar just so it looks like that you’re busy or that you justify that being in those meetings means that you’re doing your job. Even though you know there’s something that you could be doing way better with your time.
So, as a leader, you need to identify what are the tasks and the projects and and and the steps that we can do, the goals that we could have, that provide the most value. Not consume the most time, and fight against that wave that the organization wants you to look like you’re busy. That your team needs to be busy because if the organization does not understand that what is important, is that the value you bring to your team and your team brings to the organization, they’re never going to value the work that you do. All they want is your busyness.
So, that’s what I got this time. I’d love to hear your comments on this. How important is busyness to your job? How much value is that busyness actually bringing to the organization? How can you focus more on the value that your team provides, rather than the volume of work or time that they spend on their work? I’d love to hear that. Leave a comment below wherever you’re watching this. That’s all I got, see you next time.