Delegation = Training ✅
Tuesday Thoughts #72
This week, I listened to Chris Sparks interviewing Thanh Pham, founder of Asian Efficiency. It was an hour filled with gems on leadership and productivity.
My biggest revelation was that delegation and training are often the same thing.
Thanh emphasized three key things when delegating:
What is the actual task?
What resources do they need to succeed?
What is the definition of "done"?
(He also suggested writing them down until you're in the habit of clearly identifying all three aspects; we most frequently skip #3 and get results that are not what we expected/wanted. And, it's mostly our own fault.)
In training, we emphasize:
Condition, which can be environment, resources, etc.
Standard(s) of performance
Additionally, Thanh emphasized that you should start by delegating low-stakes tasks where you're more likely to allow autonomy. Then allow someone to try a task three times before making any serious assessments. Through each iteration, you should provide feedback to improve the process.
A good leader's goal is to work themselves out of a job, but I'd never put delegation and training together so concretely before. An effective leader is an effective teacher.
Here are three other gems from the podcast:
Growth doesn't always require new initiatives. Instead, ask "How can we eliminate all the bad things in our lives?" Addition by subtraction.
"How do I know if I had a productive day or not?" It's a simple question, but it requires a clear understanding of what you're doing and what you're trying to accomplish. If you or one of your team members can not answer that question, it's a significant red flag.
Vacation is an opportunity to improve your team/processes. If something breaks, celebrate. You identified a weak link or process that you can now correct. If everything goes well, celebrate. You have a well-oiled machine. Now, schedule a longer vacation to lengthen the stress test.
Year of PIE Early Returns
I'm feeling energized again.
This Saturday, I savored a 7 mile run with a friend in this beautiful "Florida Winter." 49 degrees at the start and a sunny 61 degrees less than two hours later. The first process on my list this year was to run at least ONE mile each day.
18 days in, 50.6 miles completed, and it feels like I'm running my way back to normal. I didn't realize how much this past year stripped away what had been a foundational element of my identity. Running was never just about physical fitness, but also the resiliency and sense of capability that come with it.
As James Clear says "Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become."
Every day in 2022 has been a vote for the return of the resilient individual I was before I “quit casting ballots” which was effectively a vote for the other guy.
The other takeaway from this weekend's run was how painfully I've missed running with others. The social aspect takes an ordinary run and exponentially increases the enjoyment and restorative value.
So, it's not just about the process, but identifying the right processes. The ones that build you up. And doing them over and over.
Not surprisingly, I've also been a better husband and father (for a few weeks, anyway 😎). The converse has been a house with less conflict, something which instantly takes my anxiety through the roof.
Plus, I can think about all of these things and many more while on the run.
As an added benefit, my resting heart rate has already started to drop back into the upper 40s from what was higher than the normal average at the end of 2021. If you don't have a heart rate monitor, it's a fun training tool and indicator of long-term health/stress.
The Million $ Question
Making the most of daddy duty, most of my runs have included Cadence in her stroller. And, I have NO idea if Cadence enjoys it.
From the time she's deposited into the stroller until the run/walk is complete, she's a total stoic. No excitement, no sadness, and no sound — just utter concentration. Won't even crack a smile. The ONLY time I've seen her express emotion was when Tiffany stopped to talk to a neighbor and Cadence was tired of waiting.
So, the motion must be good right? Cadence, your parents would like to know.
(Otherwise, our 6th-month-old is very expressive.)