Non Tangible Work – The Higher You Go the More Valuable it Becomes.

Non Tangible Work – The Higher You Go the More Valuable it Becomes.

Folks in transition to a more senior role can wrestle with equating their ‘strategic efforts’ as ‘real work’.

That’s a self-created problem resulting in disappointment, loss of confidence and the retreat back to the comfort zone of the tactical busy busyness.

Evidence of progress and the result of effort is easy to see on a working project.

Concrete is poured, walls are skimmed, cable is pulled, floors are finished. It’s all very instant gratification and its easy peasy to go home and feel the corn has been earned.

A day spent trying to figure out the macro stuff, next economic shift, the emerging work stream, the current reality can seem like playing with a future that is a long way off, and therefore not very gratifying.

Time spent coaching and mentoring the team, or, having a cup of tea with a long term prospect are fleeting moments that hardly seem like real work. We might even hear ourselves say they are necessary evils, but not really the day job.


Resist the urge to do stuff because it will make you feel busy, less guilty and more valued.

If in doubt about ‘are you doing the right work?‘ – think about your performance review.

Your boss won’t want to know how many spreadsheets you have populated or how many emails you have moved around, they’ll want to know how you evolved the Team and the Business.

Honestly, it’s a mental shift, tactical to strategic. Feeling guilty about thinking, reflecting, asking staff about their lives and challenges hinders the move into the strategic space.

It’s really hard to engage with the future plan, staff and customers if you are sat behind your laptop in the office crunching data from a past that no longer exists.

Captain, take a pew on the Bridge – it’s easier (and more encouraging to the crew) to see what is happening and where you are going…than the view from the already fully staffed engine room.

Paul Fox

Paul Fox has been active as a Construction Industry Performance Coach for the last 20 years and remains at the forefront of Collaborative Working and High Performance Team Behaviours. He disrupts the status quo of individuals, project and senior teams who want exponentially more output with much less struggle.

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