I just finished Matt Perman‘s book What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done. This stands as one of the best, if not the best, book I’ve read on productivity. It’s building on David Allen’s Getting Things Done, but putting a gospel-centered productivity aspect to this. I love how he showed that being productive is not just about doing things for you in a self-centered way, but is an act of loving your neighbor. That chimed with me, and may well be the final catalyst for being productive. Below is a choice quote from the book (p. 303) about why being effective and productive is not for selfish ambition, but actually is about ‘loving your neighbor.’
How does individual effectiveness lead to the greater effectiveness of the organization? It’s not simply that by doing your work better everyone around you gets more done and thus the organization gets more done (though that is true).
It is also because personal effectiveness has an impact on the spirit and culture of an organization, creating an environment that calls forth the best from everyone. This raises the sights of everybody and creates an environment that calls forth their best. This is good for everyone individually and for the organization. As Drucker puts it, “As executives work toward becoming effective, they raise the performance level of the whole organization. They raise the sights of people —their own as well as others. As a result, the organization not only becomes capable of doing better. It becomes capable of doing different things and of aspiring to different goals” (Drucker, The Effective Executive, p. 170-71).
Thus, “executive effectiveness is our one best hope to make modern society productive economically and viable socially” (Drucker, 170).
This book will stay close by on my desk for the foreseeable future. It provides concrete measures to help you sort through various actions and projects that will come your way.
I couldn’t recommend this book highly enough. Blending the purpose of preaching, pastoring, and productivity is what this blog is all about–and will help all leaders lead their organization more joyfully and less stressfully. Who knows? We may spend some time going through this book chapter by chapter.