Building a Productive Boss- PA Relationship

Productivity is at it’s most effective when everyone’s singing from the same (clearly typed) hymn sheet. Matthew has been running our impactful boss-PA, one day ‘How to Get Things Done’ coaching sessions and wrote this post outlining how to becomes a super slick boss-PA tag team over at his blog Mox Nox in Rem

At Think Productive UK, we spend a lot of time looking at how individuals and small teams organise themselves.  The smallest team we ever see is the Boss-PA team, and it is constantly amazing how, often, this relationship doesn’t work.

There are probably three areas where it falls down – structure, process and philosophy…

Structure.  The general rule tends to be ‘Shall we sit down once a day (or once a week) and go through everything’  This won’t really work.  The team needs to have a daily structured review of ‘What’s on your list?’ time, relieved by a pressure valve for emergencies, and a weekly sweep-through of everything.

Process.  Often there is no commonality of vision, or of language, in the relationship.  The team needs to ask the key questions about Projects and Next Actions, review ‘Waiting For’ lists, address Agendas, and ask the ‘big picture’ questions.

Philosophy.  Often it’s about compliance – ‘Have we ticked off what was on the list?’  Often it is a constant, ‘Where are we on this?’ and ‘Have you done that?’  But ‘What are we trying to do, and what do we have to do to achieve it?’ needs to be the key questions.  From big picture goal, to small picture action.

How do the best boss-PA teams work?  In my experience they work exactly as the best individuals do – by bringing clarity to their Projects and Next Actions, through separate, focussed, up-front thinking.  They use an Agendas system, reviewed once a day, to minimise interruptions.  And they do a Weekly Review together, to sweep up loose stuff and bring clarity.

The best boss-PA teams work exactly as the best bosses and PAs do, just together.  No magic, just Ninja Productivity.

Before you hit Google ‘Mox Nox in Rem’ means  ‘Soon nightfall.  To the business’ or in simpler terms ‘Let’s get on with it’. If you want Matthew to help you do just that sign up for his next public workshop in London in August.


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