I’m lucky enough to have a few mentors in my career that have taken me under their wings and shared some awesome pieces of advice with me.
I received this best piece of advice a few years ago. I’m only just now realizing how powerful and helpful it really is. Ready for it.
Your ultimate career goal should be to find a way to remove yourself from all the current tasks you are working on.
On the surface, this sounds like terrible advice. You mean I should work myself out of a job. Essentially, fire myself. But, how do I pay the bills? What do I do next? Insert a million and a half questions.
It’s taking me awhile to grasp the real power behind this advice. It’s the fact that if you are doing the same things day in and day out that you were doing 12 to 18 months ago, you simply aren’t growing. You are stagnant. That means the results you are getting in the community you manage are probably either marginally growing or have flatlined.
The real growth opportunities come from the big wins. No matter how great of a multitasker you are or how great your work ethic is, you simply cannot focus on strategic, new big wins if you are bogged down on the same (and growing) day to day tasks that you have been doing for 12 months or more. You need to be able to remove yourself from some if not all of that to focus on high level strategies.
This comes from learning to automate and delegate effectively. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should be doing it. If you are anything like me, this can be a real challenge to constantly work through. It’s easy to give up and delegate the not-so-fun tasks. But chances are there are some tasks that you might love doing that you probably shouldn’t be doing anymore that are holding
I recommend using Pareto’s Law (ie the 80:20 principle) to find the 20% of tasks that you do that yield 80% or more of the results. Everything else you should either automate, eliminate or delegate.
Once you free up time, it’s time for the hard, strategic work on identifying and focusing on the next big community wins.