PODCAST: Deskless Office (Get Things Done #139 with Daniel Whyte III)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of GLM Omnimedia Group, and this is Episode #139 of the “Get Things Done!” podcast. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help you get things done every day so that you can accomplish something worthwhile with your life. I am a firm believer that God has put each person on earth to do something great for His glory.

In this podcast, we are going through the book “Getting Things Done: The ABCs of Time Management” by Edwin C. Bliss. Today, I will continue sharing with you some of the principles on productivity, getting things done, and avoiding procrastination that Edwin C. Bliss talks about in his book.

As we begin, let me give you this reminder from the Word of God. Titus 3:14 says: “And let our’s also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.”

Our quote for today is from Dwight D. Eisenhower. He said: “A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.”

Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at “Deskless Office.”

The executive desk: a massive mahogany symbol of prestige and power. How could the leader of a corporation get along without one?

Well, very nicely, according to some people who have tried it.

The idea of a deskless office was first promoted many years ago by Lawrence Appley, former chairman of the American Management Association, who contended that “most desks only bury decisions.” In recent years the popularity of the concept of “Management by Walking Around,” espoused by Tom Peters and others, has caused a renewed interest in the idea of a deskless office. It isn’t feasible for most executives, but some have found it works quite well.

One problem with a desk is that it provides a convenient place for papers to pile up, and the executive’s attention is soon focused on paperwork instead of on what’s happening. By the time a problem has become serious enough to reach the boss in written form, it’s often too late to deal with it effectively.

Consider the jobs of a chief executive: to observe, to analyze, to delegate, to encourage, to decide. A desk isn’t essential to any of those functions, and in many cases they will be better accomplished in someone else’s office or in a meeting or wandering around the plant or sitting in a chair with a clipboard.

Then there’s the psychological aspect. When you have a subordinate seated across the desk from you, there is a psychological barrier between you. It’s sort of a power play: You are the boss, seated in a position of authority, and the subordinate feels appropriately diminished (if that’s what you want—and if you are an insecure leader, it probably is). But a conversational setting without the desk between you creates more of a team atmosphere in which you can exchange ideas and opinions more candidly.

A good analogy is a football coach. The coach doesn’t sit in a plush chair, removed from the bench; he sits on the same bench as the players. And he doesn’t lose any stature or power by doing so. Instead, he builds rapport and a feeling that although he is the boss, he is part of the team. In today’s unpredictable and highly competitive atmosphere, the companies with team spirit are going to be more successful than those where the employees feel like puppets, as they do in a rigidly hierarchical organization.

You may be wondering what all this has to do with time management. Well, the relationships you establish with subordinates will determine to a large extent how you allocate your time, and the more time you spend away from your ivory tower interacting, observing, listening, coaching, and “cheerleading” (to use Tom Peter’s phrase), the more effective you will be. You don’t have to get rid of your desk to do this, but it can help.

Lord willing, we will continue looking at this topic and more in our next podcast.

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Now, let’s pray our prayer together —

Almighty and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against Thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare Thou those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore Thou those who are penitent; According to Thy promises declared unto mankind In Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for His sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

Now, the greatest secret to getting things done with your life for the glory of God is to have the Lord Jesus Christ in your life. When you have Jesus in your life, you can say with Paul in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless you, and remember: if you have something to do, there is no better time to do it than now.