cutting the grass and other leadership exercises

While some may disagree, I consider myself a relatively bright person. This afternoon, I had reason to second-guess my presupposition.

I haven’t cut grass in eight years. Until recently, we lived in a development that took care of outside maintenance – nice, but expensive.  With our recent move, I picked up the responsibility of mowing the lawn again.

Today was my first time with the new lawn and with the mower that was left behind for my use.  I added some gas, looked over the machine and cranked her up. Understand, our lawn is very hilly. It was hot, the grass was a little wet, and I was working pretty hard, especially on the uphill parts. About ¾ of the way finished, I happen to notice a level on the mower I hadn’t yet seen.  I pulled it and the mower started pulling itself! Awesome! But I felt kind of stupid. My last mower was self-propelled, but I made the assumption that this one was not, WITHOUT TAKING TIME TO LOOK.

Stop laughing.

Leadership lesson: before jumping into a project – take time to examine all of the details available:

What do you have to work with?

Is there a strategy or plan or method that will bring more success?

Is there an easier or smarter way to do this job?

What about efficiency…will you be getting the most out of your efforts?

Taking time to fully understand the details of what you are doing, what will be required and the best way to get the job down will make your responsibility and your life a lot more enjoyable. And you will be way more productive!

Once I kicked in the self-propelled feature on the mower, the job was a breeze. But the first hour and a half were not fun. I want to have fun working and leading.

Next week, I will cut the lawn in half the time with half the effort. Now if I could only find that self-propelled feature on some of the people I get to work with! (Just kidding!)

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