In Episode 13 of Happywork TV, I introduce yet another commitment contained in the work code of conduct I’ve created called “The Happywork Agreement.” (which is in the book!)
Here it is: “I will remember that I may possess certain skillsets that my employees do not. Therefore, it may not be reasonable to expect from others sterling performance in areas where I excel. I will be patient. There was only one Michael Jordan on the Bulls.”
In the video, I bring up the example of Magic Johnson. He excelled at just about everything on the court – he was tall, he could pass, he could shoot, he was an amazing floor general and leader. However, when he was handed the Lakers coaching job, he didn’t do so well.
Why? One reason bandied about was that he got frustrated when players didn’t execute plays that he was so able to make himself during his playing career. He wasn’t patient with his players, and it shoed. Jordan did the same thing during his playing career, and it didn’t seem to affect the Bulls’ performance. However, I have to question whether or not it was fun to be Jordan’s teammate. Kobe Bryant is finding out right now how lonely it is when no one wants to come play with you. Guys, it’s Los Angeles. It’s the Lakers! Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to play in L.A.? Here’s your answer: NBA players who don’t feel like putting up with Kobe Bryant’s management style.
Owners and managers will more often than not possess a deeper skillset than the people who work for them. Yes, it’s a generalization, but it will be true more times than not. When I was a CPA, I certainly possessed more skills than junior accountants. It would have been unfair to expect them to be able to do all of the cool accounting things I was able to do. (did I really just say that?)
Smart owners and managers will hire the best people they can, and will then train them, coach them up, send them to seminars, and give them as many chances to acquire the skills necessary to excel. Before you know it, those employees may be ready to shoulder more responsibility. But until they are, you need to be patient, and you need to teach, teach, teach. If you’re riding some junior person’s ass because they can’t do it as well as you, you’re just being a short-sighted jerk.
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