When it come to determining what the next step is, you have two choices:
Follow your instinct or follow the data.
Instinct is of course a feeling. An intuition about what the next step could be. It’s usually based on experience and education. Following the data usually means testing different options and following what works.
Instinct has the advantage of being unexpected. Its risk? Failure. Following the data reduces the odds of mistakes, but can that come at the detriment of surprise? Is it a matter of revolutionary vs. incremental (or evolutionary)?
I don’t know if there’s a correct path, just know what you’re following, the outcome will vary.
Autonomy and mastery: that’s what we look for as employees. Predictably, that’s the supervisor’s biggest challenge.
Let me explain. The saying goes:
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
For a supervisor, giving a fish is easy (conversely sending them off to learn how to fish with little training is just as easy). The hard part is teaching to fish, to guide your team enough for them to learn, master and be autonomous. It’s hard because teaching requires knowledge, communication, adaptability, self-improvement, patience and dedication — not the skills we all carry.
The more I think about it, the more I realize that as a manager, your priority is to be a great teacher.
Hone your skills. Go teach.
Tim Ferriss does great work. I’m a fan of his The Four Hour Work-Week. It exposes many of the inefficiencies that are too easily called “work” and offers interesting solutions. Ignore the book title for a moment; to me it’s not about working less, it’s about leveraging the internet, automation and outsourcing to free up time to do the work that matters.
Regardless of whether you work in an office or if you’re on your own there’s some great stuff there for you.
On Wednesday April 16th, Micheline Bourque invited me to discuss the book in an online panel. The event will be in French and if you want to listen in, here’s the link to event:
Club de lecture affaires
Just tune in around 12-12:15.
Hope to see you there.