No I'm not talking about U2 the band although they are one of my favorite groups. This is referring to a concept that I have always been burdened by but have struggled to act upon successfully. As we plow through the fertile grounds of our career or wherever we happen to be we leave behind a furrow that displays a barren earth just waiting for new opportunities to be planted. We have broken new ground and normally planted some seeds and have seen some fruit, but there is much to do in keeping out the weeds, pruning, and harvesting. If you are like me I constantly have my eye on new ground to break and with all the best intentions in the world wish to return to where I first felt the joys of newness and unexplored glories, but the quest moves on leaving the prior work in someone else's hands.
Therein lies my dilemma. I have not purposefully mentored and raised individuals who can competently tend to the work that has been started and that I will unfortunately end up neglecting due to other fields to uncover. The act of You Minus Two (U-2) is identifying and nurturing an individual who is two years removed from you in terms of competence and experience. This person should feel somewhat similar to your character and drive and by doing so you can be somewhat certain that they will effectively be able to take over where you left off. A transitional time will definitely be needed, but if you are not actively seeking out and building up individuals to take your place then you will either be prohibiting your movement to untouched meadows or the ground you have previously painstakingly toiled to break and prepare will grow up with weeds and be no more the better for you having had been there.
If you are anxious to break more ground you must be all the more intent on raising your successor.
Well, got punched in the gut the other day. After having pumped myself up to a level way beyond what I deserve and feeling great about my track record of being able to deliver so much single handedly I delegated... ie. passed off and neglected to stay up to speed on a fairly high priority project. Walked into a meeting and in one fell swoop managed to push a very close friend over the edge with my flippant de-prioritizing of the project based on oversights actually on my part. Had I been proactive in following through with what I started we would have been delivering a product consistent and within the timing that everyone has been expecting.
There are two possible assumptions at play as to what went awry and the first one is wrong. One, I expected too much from the resource that I delegated the work to and it is their responsibility -or- Two, I (again) over promised on what was not a reality. If one person was meant to be able to do everything then everyone would have been born that way. Looking around it appears that there are a number of Orbitals, but exceedingly more personalities who are specialized or prefer to be dictated what to. Personally I have a very difficult time spreading the work if I have the experience and know-how to build and deliver something with record breaking pace. The problem is that recently I have caught myself telling others that I wish there were 48 hours in the day. Wake up call... there are only 24 hours in the day and you need to use them effectively! Another gut punch!
Why do I feel the need to single handedly save the world? Build others to build yourself. Step back and take yourself out of the equation for completing the task by contemplating what it will take to get it done successfully without and then with your involvement (if you can do it in the 24 hour day). Planning completions based on your superhuman efforts will eventually leave others frustrated.
I called it "Soul Tired" the other day when explaining what I was feeling in my present state. So much opportunity and seemingly so little of me to address and solve the needs at hand. By nature many of us are Obital and can seemingly come to workable resolutions and even solutions without much effort. The issue comes to a head when we are self-imposingly helping solve all of the world's problems with only 24 hours in a day torn between work, responsibilities, as well as a fulfilling life.
The angst and tug that are ever present when seeing and knowing something can be better or could be solved is a constant conflict. Turning a blind eye is seemingly impossible, but it must be done. How can others rise up when you are standing on their heads doing their tasks before they get there or instructing without explaining how you came to your conclusions to begin instructing from?
You are tired because you choose to be tired. Step back and assist others in stepping up. You can't change the world yourself. You needs to be WE.
For much too long standards and formalities, while inherently positive in themselves, have hindered the true value of passion, creativity, and innovation. Hopefully through the topics presented new ideas and ways to change the culture and world around you will jump off of the pages reinvigorating you to take action and lead.