Rains: Less = More
I had a mentor once ask me at the start of a new year, “What do you want to leave behind from last year?” I looked at him a little puzzled and he said, “Let me put it this way: All of the leaders I coach are focused on what’s next? What’s coming? What’s new? But before they launch into the ‘next thing’ I try to help them stop for just a moment and consider what needs to be left behind in order to take up whatever is next. And we get it down on a list called the ‘not to do’ list or the ‘stop doing’ list.”
Do you ever consider that every time you say yes to something, you’re automatically saying “no” to thousands of other things? I’ve been married now for almost 30 years; when I got married, I said yes to my bride, which implied saying no to many aspects of my life up until then. I was saying no to certain freedoms and, certainly, I was saying no to any other romantic relationships!
As we round the corner into this new year, I’m sure we’re all going to have many new opportunities, which will bring new tasks, more to-do’s, and many new possibilities. But before we jump headlong into those, let's consider a few things we might want to say “no” to first. It’s important to make room for all that the new year could bring.
Here are a few categories of things we may want to let go of as we jump into 2022.
- Old mindsets. What holds us back from doing great things? Usually, it’s a limiting belief. Sometimes it’s a fear of failure, of looking stupid, of not being up to the task. Living in fear is like trying to drive with the emergency brake on. While this is no longer possible in most newer models, back in the day I wore out a few emergency brakes due to an unformed teenage brain and a horrible memory! Another big limiter is grief. Grief over a significant loss is not something to be ignored. But it’s also not something that should be holding us back either. I’m not your therapist but we all know there are healthy ways to manage grief and then there’s getting mired in it for too long.
- What are some relationships that need to be left behind? Is there someone who consistently gets time on your calendar that is draining the life out of you? That appointment that you keep but you dread it every time and leave feeling worse? Yep, it’s time to let that person go. I’ve heard it over and over: Whether we realize it or not, we are becoming like the people with whom we spend the most time.
- Tasks. What are those tasks that you just can’t let go of even though there is someone ready and willing to take them? What delegation is past due? Yes, we know you can do it better than anyone else. Yes, we’re aware that you've always done it a certain way. However, if you keep doing it the people around you won’t elevate in their abilities! And Yes, I’m talking to you micro-managers!
On delegation, Gino Wickman, the founder of EOS Worldwide and author of Traction says that getting clarity on what we love to do and what we’re great at is the best way to “delegate and elevate.” There are likely many things as a shop leader at which you are good. But if you’re being honest, you might not love doing all those things. Perhaps you feel trapped by a limiting belief that if you don’t do it no one else will. Or no one else will want to. Or no one else will do it quite as good as you. Delegation is the best thing you can do for yourself and for your team. If you spend some time getting clear on the tasks that you not only love but you’re also great at and then start delegating the rest, your significant other will thank you, your team will thank you, and your future self will thank you! Imagine what it would be like to have more time with loved ones, work with a team of people who felt trusted and empowered, and have time to enjoy all the things for which you’ve been working.
What’s holding you back? Maybe it’s time to leave whatever that was in last year where it belongs!