I know it seems strange but I like mowing the yard. It’s not just that I like to mow the yard it’s that I want the yard done a certain way.Most dads can’t wait to turn the lawn mowing duties over to their sons, that wasn’t the case for me.
I think my son was 15 or 16 before I let him mow the backyard. Notice I said the backyard. It was still a few more years before I gave him the opportunity to mow the front yard.
(hang with me this post is not about mowing the yard)
Now my son is 20 and I finally admitted he had inherited the "lawn mowing" gene. What motivated me to make the statement was how he mowed the yard, he did it as well as I could do it, even changing the mowing pattern from what I had done the week before. I think the comment took him by surprise.
Over the years I had given my son some instructions on how I wanted the yard mowed. I had let him start out by doing a small portion of the yard and he had observed how I did the job for many years.
When I made the comment about the ‘yard mowing gene’ he smiled.
Had I been robbing him of the privilege of doing something he wanted to do and was good at just because I had always done it?
(here comes the non lawn-mowing part)
How often do we hold on to tasks that someone else could do? How often do we hold on to tasks and forgo training someone else?
I have realized there are some things in my position that need my attention and no one else can do, however, there are some things I need to delegate.
Here is my plan to let go:
- take an inventory of all the tasks that I try to accomplish in a week.
- identify the tasks that I can give away
- create a training plan/list for each task I give away
- identify and/or recruit persons that I can train to complete the things I give away
- set up a detailed training schedule
- let go of the tasks
- celebrate others doing what I used to do
- continue to evaluate all tasks and who is getting them accomplished
I know many people give away the lawn mowing responsibilities long before their sons turn sixteen. If I had not given away the job to my son, I would not have had the joy of seeing him light up when I complimented his work nor would he leave my house ready to mow his own yard someday.
By giving away and empowering others to do some of the tasks in my office I giving them the opportunity to grow in their skill-set. It also gives me more time to do the things that need my direct attention.
Hey, Spencer…you can mow the lawn anytime, and someday you can see if your children have the "lawn-mowing" gene.