There are two jobs in our house that, when I do them, causes my family to react as if the world is coming to an end.
“You’re doing WHAT?!”
“I didn’t know you knew how to do that!”
And of course, “What’s wrong?!”
What are those two jobs? Vacuuming and ironing.
So when I plugged in the iron this morning and went into the bathroom to fill up a little pitcher so I could use the steam function, my husband’s immediate response was, “You’re ironing?!” I half-grinned, half shot him a dirty look as I walked out of the room.
A couple of weeks ago, I took my vacuum to the church to help clean up after the completion of an expansion project in our kids’ area. (Side note – I LOVE my vacuum. It’s a Dyson, and I’ve had it for almost 15 years now. I got it for my birthday one year – because that’s what I wanted for my birthday!) The project had a few more days until completion, so I offered to leave my vacuum to be used as needed. My husband jokingly said, “It’s not like you use it anyway!”
It’s not that I hate those chores so much, it’s that I can find so many better ways to use my time! So many other ways to be productive or make an impact with my life…
It’s just like in leadership.
There are going to be jobs that need to be done that aren’t your favorite. There will constantly be a pull for your attention, and it’s up to you to decide where to put your focus and energies.
So what’s a person to do?
Be wise about how you spend your time.
Remember, you don’t have to do all the jobs, but you DO have to be willing to do them.
Never, ever, ever say, “It’s not my job.”
We aren’t going to love every task and responsibility that needs to be done. That’s just life.
Delegating isn’t simply a way to get out of what you don’t want to do. (Though I must confess I’ve delegated vacuuming to my boys before simply to get out of it…wait, I mean to help teach them responsibility…) Remember that someone on your team may love doing the very things that give you hives of boredom. You’re actually honoring them by giving them the chance to serve with their passion and gifts. (Read more about honoring here.)
Some days, it’s best to just plug in the iron or pull out the vacuum and re-ground yourself. Work side-by-side with your team and remind them how much you appreciate all they do, day in and day out.
At the end of the day, it’s the people that matter. How you approach the jobs that need to be done will speak volumes to your people about how much they matter.
I’d love to hear what jobs you hate!
(P.S. Sometimes you love doing a specific job, but you’re actually robbing someone else of the joy of doing that job. Think about that. Leaders don’t get to hoard their favorite jobs – instead, we should always be looking for ways to honor and grow our people.)