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3 Leadership Tips from a Blaring TV and an Oil Change

My most productive time? 

Waiting for my car at the repair shop. 

I’m not kidding. 

It’s good thinking time. 

No distractions. 

So I drop off my car and head up to the waiting room. 

I find a guy typing away on his laptop, 


I can feel my headache starting.

The TV remote is sitting on the table.

I approach the man with the laptop.

“Do you mind if I turn the volume down?”

“Go ahead.” He doesn’t look up.

So I mute the TV.

The guy’s head snaps up. He catches my eye with a shocked expression and says:

“Whew. That’s better.”

Did I mention that the TV had been really, really loud?

He was tolerating an unproductive environment.

Most people do.

Leaders won’t.

Here are the tips:

1. Speak Up!

I was looking forward to quiet concentration time. It was not what I found. I did manage to create it. 

What fixable productivity issues are you tolerating in your current work environment?

 2. Communicate

Not everyone wants to be productive while waiting for their car. Some want to watch TV. Some want the TV on in the background.

How do you develop consensus about productivity?

3. Follow Me

The guy with the laptop did not realize how loud the TV was until I muted it.

It wasn’t bothering him as much as it bothered me.

He was still happier with it on mute.

How do you raise awareness about productivity?

How do you protect your most productive time?

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