What is your super power?
I have thought a bit about this question and have some guesses as to what mine might be.
While I have always been fairly good at connecting strategy and execution, and I have never shied away from putting in the effort to get things accomplished, my true super power is my ability to remain comfortable when processing a high volume of work across a wide spectrum.
My super power may not be as visible as leaping tall buildings in a single bound, but I can — with super hero strength and speed — switch from one task to another without slowing down or making mistakes.
Where some may find it challenging and inefficient to move from one task to another, I possess an ability to effectively adapt to the new task or situation without significant negative impact. Doesn’t really sound like a super power, does it? Trust me, it is in today’s hectic business environment.
With great power comes great responsibility. Being good at something is valuable, but it’s also important to not stake your career around one single skill.
For me, it might be better to be more collaborative and incorporate everyone else’s super power instead of trying to save the day all on my own.
Fortunately for me, Microsoft has delivered a tool called MyAnalytics, which provides fantastic insight into how I spend my time and with whom I spend it.
The objective of MyAnalytics is to help us better understand how to make our work — and ourselves – more efficient. MyAnalytics emails me a weekly digest detailing key highlights and a link to see more on a dashboard.
When I drill into this dashboard, I am able to understand how I tend to work and where I can improve.
Here’s what I have learned and what I am doing about it.
After seeing that I spend over half of my work hours in meetings — and many of those are recurring — I’m trying to cut down on those. MyAnalytics also showed that my calendar tends to fill up by Friday, making it difficult for me to finish projects or tasks I need before the following week. Now I know I have to block out time to be able to complete that work or I’ll be working nights or weekends to finish (Uggghhhh!).
I have never attended an email addiction support group, though it sounds like a blast. MyAnalytics has helped me see that I sent 250 emails in the past week and read 750. I also learned that I spend more time writing emails versus reading them, which does seem to make some sense since I try to make my emails easy to read and understand.
MyAnalytics also tells me if my emails are effective.
I recently sent out what I thought a relatively important email to some of my partners at Wipfli. I wanted 14 partners to read my email, open my attachment and respond to my single multiple-choice question.
MyAnalytics showed me that most of my partners spent about 15 seconds on the email (it should have taken 60 seconds to read). It also showed me that only 9 replied.
I did appreciate the LOL moment when MyAnalytics suggested my partners were a tough crowd.
In all seriousness, MyAnalytics helped me learn that, while email is still the standard at our firm, using it doesn’t guarantee you the response you desire.
MyAnalytics forces me to think a bit more about what I am trying to accomplish and consider how best to do so. Maybe next time, I will send individual emails asking each partner personally to respond to my important question.
I believe conceptually that we should spend the most time with our most valuable and impactful colleagues. I sometimes wonder if that is actually the case. MyAnalytics helps me identify those individuals that I collaborate with the most.
It also breaks down the time between 1:1 meetings and broader meetings. I can also identify the “important” individuals (my direct reports or other key colleagues) and, with a click, I can see how my time was spent with them the prior week. This tool is even so proactive as to notify you that it has been a couple weeks since your last 1:1 with a specific individual.
Back to my super power
I still slip on my super hero cape (and tights under my Dockers) and break speed records jumping from task to task, but MyAnalytics has helped me to expand my skills by giving me objective data that I can interpret and act on. It has also helped me to coach and influence others in ways that may help them better utilize MyAnalytics.
MyAnalytics has been deployed across our entire firm through Microsoft 365. Wipfli is an accounting and consulting firm and, like most firms, it’s the people that drive us forward and propel us to new levels of success. I am excited to see how MyAnalytics helps our associates identify and hone their own super powers.
Now, time to leap to my next task ….