O'Reilly logo

SuperCompetent: The Six Keys to Perform at Your Productive Best by Laura Stack

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 8. Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

SUPERCOMPETENT Hero Thinking:

I push tasks down to the lowest level of responsibility, trusting others to do their jobs.

SIMPLY COMPETENT Zero Thinking:

I don't like to give tasks to others. I can do them better. Other people always mess things up.

Once you've figured out how to do something well, it is human nature to believe you can do it better than most people. Perhaps (and most likely) you can. But you don't have time to do every little thing yourself, especially low-value tasks below your pay grade. Let's assume you can train someone to do something 85 percent as well as you can. While that may not be perfect, it's pretty good. And if they're doing it, you aren't.

And besides, there's an outside chance that, even if you're great at something, others can do it better. So find ways to let them try.

Let Some Tasks Go

If you value your time—and I assume that you do—you can't spend it doing tasks that aren't valuable. Take a step back and make sure even your lowest priority tasks are worth the time and effort you invest in them. Just because they manage to creep onto your to-do list week after week doesn't mean they're a good use of time. If it's an activity you do for others, make sure they find it valuable before you spend another second on it. The last thing you want is to expend effort on projects that shuffle their way through inboxes until they're finally deleted or tucked into some bottomless filing cabinet.

Train Someone

Of course, ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required