7 Fundamental Productivity Skills that Will Move You Forward Fast

Part 4 of the 5-part series - How to become the CEO of Your Life

All right!  In the first three posts, we’ve talked about the reasons you need to become the CEO of your own life, and some important mindsets and character traits you need to develop in order to do that.

If you haven’t read the first three articles in this series, you can read them first here:

Having the correct mindsets and character traits are absolutely necessary for taking charge of our lives, but there are also some very important skills we need to grow in before we see big changes happen. In this article, we are going to look at 7 productivity skills that successful CEOs possess.

7 Fundamental Productivity Skills:

1. Visionary – operate with the big picture in mind

2. Resourceful

3. Proactive

4. Decisive – quick decision-making skills

5. Problem solving skills – good at analyzing and asking great questions

6. Creative and uses imagination well

7. Able to leverage efforts and resources – especially synergistic relationships and collaboration

1 – Visionary

The CEO is the head of the company – they’re at the top. Being at the top level is like standing on the top of a mountain – it gives you a broader view. If the CEO doesn’t have a big-picture vision of where their company is headed, then they’re gonna have a hard time staying on track to get there! In our personal lives, if we’re having trouble moving forward, it can be due to lack of clear vision.

Having clarity of vision gives you focus, singleness of mind and undivided purpose. It takes time to figure out the vision for your life, but if you don’t do it, you won’t know the things you need to do, because you won’t even know where you are headed.  In his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey says:

“To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.”

— Stephen R. Covey

When it comes to productivity, you want to make sure you are producing the right things that will take you in the right direction. Many people are busy, which gives them the illusion of being productive, but at the end of the day they aren’t seeing the results they really desire. Having a clear vision helps you eliminate non-productive busyness.

2 – Resourceful

I don’t know if there is a more important skill to have as an entrepreneur or leader of a company than resourcefulness. I can’t stress enough the value of learning to become more resourceful when it comes to getting ahead in life!

If there’s anything I’ve found in my years of running companies, it’s that issues regularly come up that can potentially hinder forward momentum. Sometimes the problems can seem impossible. That’s where getting creative and resourceful is indispensable. If you can’t do it one way, you’ve got to try it another way. If you don’t have the resources you need right now, then you have to find a way to make it happen without them or find a creative way to get them. Maybe you have something you can trade with somebody else who has what you need. The heart of being resourceful is having the will that will ‘make a way’!

3 – Proactive

There’s a bad habit I’ve seen in a lot of people today – they don’t take the initiative to do things without being told or wait for affirmation from someone else. If you’re going to take control of your life like a CEO manages a company, you need to start being more proactive.

Being proactive is about taking urgent action on things that need to get done in order to see progress.  To be proactive is the opposite of procrastination. It’s moving forward without waiting for someone to tell you to do it or that it’s okay. You don’t wait for affirmation and permission – you do what you know you should do before time and opportunity run out, or negative consequences happen.

4 – Decisive

Good leaders are decisive ones – if they aren’t, progress will be limited. One of the things that kills productivity more than anything is being indecisive. So many people get stuck in analysis paralysis where they try and figure out every little thing before making a decision because they’re afraid of making a mistake.

We are bombarded by decisions every day, and the more responsibilities we have, the more important decisions we’ll have to make. We desperately need to learn how to move forward faster by being okay with making decisions without having to deliberate over every detail. We also need to learn how to be okay with ‘imperfect, but done’. Some people never get anything done because they’re trying for perfection. The only way to really learn is to learn by doing – part of that learning is making mistakes then making corrections.

Let go of the lie that making mistakes makes you a failure. All winners have had a lot of failures that they learned from!

5 – Problem Solving Skills

Problems are the enemy of productivity and must be dealt with quickly. CEOs are like Sudoku masters – they solve problems in their sleep! Resourcefulness and decisiveness are two things they use, but another tool in their box is knowing how to analyze issues and ask good questions.

Learning to break down situations and ask quality questions will help you find your way through a lot of difficult problems. Not only do you have to ask ‘what’ is wrong, or ‘how’ will we fix it, you also have to ask ‘why’ it happened.

When you sit down and creatively brainstorm a bunch of questions, your brain can’t help but figure out answers. Asking questions that seem outside of the box will give you answers outside the box.

It is also important to ask good questions to those on your team as well as your customers.  You’ll find valuable answers from them.

“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” – Tony Robbins

6 – Creative and Imaginative

Being creative and imaginative help with the visionary process as well as the problem-solving process.  Too often we stop using our imaginations after childhood. We think being creative is only for artists, but every good business person needs to exercise their imagination and keep their creative juices flowing.  They need to dream up new ideas for research and development and how they’re going to better serve their customers.

Exercising our creativity is fun and keeps life interesting. If we just live our lives going through the motions without engaging our creative side, we will run out of the motivation and momentum we need to help us achieve our dreams.

7 – Able to Leverage Efforts and Resources

When it comes to productivity, leverage is king! A good CEO is always looking for ways to leverage their time, resources and efforts for a higher yield. My favorite way to do this is to build strategic synergistic relationships and develop collaboration.

Synergy is an interesting thing – it’s where two people or companies that can produce 10 units each, work together, and instead of producing 20 units, somehow, they create 100 units or more!

If you want to become the CEO of your life and see exponential results for your efforts, then you should always be on the lookout for ways to leverage your time, efforts, and resources, especially by fostering synergistic relationships.

I really hope you found this post useful! Productivity skills are vital for success, but so are the next set of skills we’ll talk about in the last post in this series – Relational People Skills.

Read the final post here – 6 Indispensable People Skills that Will Help You Reach Your Dreams Part 5 of the 5-part series – How to become the CEO of Your Life

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