There are a few more lessons from my time in government to pass on. We are trying to keep the posts to a readable length – not quite Twitter short – but not a magazine long either.
Don’t buy a dog and bark yourself. This has always been one of my favorite (and most used) sayings. It means if you ask someone to do something, then let them do it. When you buy a guard dog you expect the dog to bark at intruders. So if the dog does what it was purchase for – don’t get mad at that either. It also means if you ask someone to do something then give them clear expectations – you should not be made if you give vague instructions and in turn get vague results. That leads to the next lesson.
Set clear expectations. If you ask someone to do something, give them clear expectations and an understood length of time to complete it. This is the biggest problem in the workplace and at home. If you ask your spouse or child to do something, make sure they understand what you want done and what’s an acceptable time frame. Example: Honey, could you take out the trash before dinner? A clear task with a time of completion expectation. This also leads to the next lesson.
Keep things brutally simple. If you have a task that requires more than 5 movements/parts, then its best to either break the task into separate tasks or do it yourself. The more complex task, the more likely you will be disappointed with the results and the more likely the task will not get accomplished. Another key point is that you cannot expect someone to read your mind. If you have a clear idea of a finished product/outcome – share that. I have fallen victim to this particular trap where I was given a task and the person giving the task had a vision of the completed project, but did not share it with me. That led to a lot of unnecessary frustration on both our parts.
There are more lessons to share in upcoming blogs, but I’ll wrap this one up with a simple wish for all those reading our blog; a long and interesting life filled with joy and surrounded by people you love, and that love you.