- Does it need to be done?
- Does it need to be done by me?
- Does it need to be done by me right now?
I see the question of “Does it need to be done by me?” as speaking to a few sub-questions.
- Am I the only person with the skills to do this? If I let my ego run the show – the answer will be yes, even though it is not true the vast majority of the time.
- Is this something that can be used as a learning opportunity for someone else? I have been asked to do things simply because the other folks who do the same thing aren’t as experienced, or because they like the way I do something better. Flattering, but it may not serve the asker when I am too busy to concentrate on their project; or my colleagues, who need the opportunity to grow their skills.
- How valuable is my relationship with the asker? Sometimes I will take on tasks because I want to strengthen a relationship. I still need to better discern which relationships are worth strengthening. The last thing I want to do is reward demanding “takers”. Invariably, trying to strengthen those relationships has not been worth it.
It’s really easy for me to fall into the trap of me needing to do all the things myself.
It soothes my ego to think I can do all the things asked of me.
I don’t want to disappoint or make others unhappy.
It serves no-one for me to over-promise and under-deliver.
It serves no-one for me to hog all of the opportunity for growth and skill-building.
It serves no-one for me to be the resource bottle-neck.
Even if the task needs to be done, I need to allow others to help.
If you prefer to read – he also wrote a book Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success.
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