This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Carson Tate. Carson is the best-selling author of Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity and founder of the business with the same name which helps clients amplify team performance, better engage their workforce, and increase productivity.
Carson and the principles of Working Simply have been featured everywhere from Fast Company to Forbes to the Harvard Business Review. And Working Simply has helped some of the largest organization including FEDEX, J&J, Chick-Fil-A, and Lowes, just to name a few, improve their performance.
I bet you can guess why I asked her on the show. What entrepreneur wouldn’t want to improve team performance, better engage, and increase productivity?
Carson started her career in corporate America in HR/Training. She then went into outside sales for Big Pharma and that is where the light bulb went off for her and where she realized she wanted to be an entrepreneur. It was like having her own business, until they changed her compensation which require her and her team to change how they did things. They had to become more productive, so Carson developed a system that got great results to a point where it became a model for the company. Carson saw that there was a good opportunity for a business to help companies in this area, so she left and launched her business.
What does it mean to work simply? What are the principles?
- Can you re-orient from output to impact and results only work?
What are the principles?
- It starts with identifying what is not working well
- Where are team members burned out?
- Do you have a communication or meeting issue?
- Depending on the root cause, that is where you go to work.
- For example, if there are too many meetings and they are ineffective – then the focus would be on optimizing meetings for results and time.
- You also have to look at how they team gets work done most effectively and make sure everyone understands it.
Where do you see challenges in productivity consistently?
- Execution is one area that is consistent.
- It is also looking at conflicts between individuals and teams. People need to learn how their personal dynamics can work better together.
- Meetings and email management are two other areas where a lot of productivity and time are lost.
Explain why email management is so important?
- It’s the primary communication tool in most businesses.
- Most people don’t know how to use platforms like Outlook most effectively.
- People are also connected to it 24/7 which means it makes it easier to get burned out.
At the 14 min mark, Carson and I have a great conversation on being productive in training people to be respectful of your time.
Thoughts on running a team to be most productive?
- Dedicate time to each of your direct reports to ask questions and get updates.
- A leader’s focus should be on coaching and development during focused time.
- Leaders should stack 1 on 1’s and do them in the same day if possible. This will help with focusing on the same activities which helps you to be more productive.
The data on multi-tasking proves it does not work. Multi-tasking is an illusion and goes against your biological design of voluntary vs. involuntary focus. You are much less productive when you multi-task.
Any other productivity tips that people should know about?
- The most important practice is the recognition that people don’t think and process information the same way, so there is not a one-size fits all solution to productivity.
- Many companies think everyone can function the same way in the same structure for productivity. Some will do well, others will not.
- Ultimate productivity comes when you are able to personalize productivity based on work style.
- Carson developed an assessment to help people understand how they process information and how to maximize productivity around it.
- Just go to https://www.workingsimply.com/work-style-assessment/
What do you see as the most important thing a leader can do each day to help their team’s success?
- Transform from manager to coach.
- A coach invites the individual team member to co-create and problem solve.
- It is asking questions vs. telling.
What have you learned along your journey about how to consistently perform and succeed?
- It starts with you.
- Exercise, rest, and meditation are essential for your ability to navigate entrepreneurship thoughtfully and intentionally.
- Self-care is essential.
Best advice to an entrepreneur just starting out?
- Radical self-awareness is needed to succeed.
- Get clarity around why and what your best way to contribute is.
- Once you start building a team – the self-awareness allows you to know where it is best for you to focus and work with your team.
There is a difference between being a leader and a CEO. What are your thoughts on how to maximize your success as a CEO?
- Having an information and eventually more formal advisory board with diversity is helpful.
- It is important for leaders to engage an executive coach at different stages to help them.
Your thoughts on how to select the right coaches?
- First, there are credentials for coached.
- There are processes, methods, etc. that coaches can be certified in.
- Another important thing is if they have experience in the area you are looking for help in.
- Above all, it needs to be a good fit. You have to be able to trust them and be open with them.
Anything else you feel is important for us to understand for success?
- Engagement and engaging your team.
- You must create and engaging environment for your team and your clients.
Best Quote: The most important practice is the recognition that people don’t think and process information the same way, so there is not a one-size fits all solution to productivity
Carson's Misfit 3:
- Know thyself...
- Take care of thyself...
- Serve others...
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