In the introductory chapters of the 1987 book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talks about his equation for growing your capacity in life. It is simply:
The equation is your production (current value) over your production capability. In that formula, you can calculate margin and upside. Most people (and managers) are focused on maximizing that ratio to get 100% out of themselves or their people. The magic of this formula is when you start working to increase your PC.
Take Tom who works for me. He is currently at 9/10. If I push Tom to produce a 10/10 or worse an 11 or 12 out of 10, he will quickly burn out. Instead, I can work with Tom to increase his production capability to a 13 or 14. Then he can produce at 11 and still have more margin than he has currently.
Many things contribute to the need to increase capacity. Getting married or having children tend to be the biggest contributors. A new job or new responsibility at work may be another.
Growing production capacity is highly individualized based on personal areas of deficit or needs specific to a role, but there are some constants that grow a person’s overall capacity. These tend to be:
- Getting in better shape, especially pushing through new levels of cardio or strength
- Gaining a new level of discipline for food intake (energy overindulgence)
- Engaging in a new type or area of learning
- Counseling or finding a place to question the inner mind
- Growing in your awareness and relationship with your Creator
What can you do to grow your capacity?