How Low Can You Go?

While watching one of my favorite vloggers  , Phlip Defranco , he said something that struck a cord with me. To paraphrase, ” Maybe its because I expect so little from people.” My brain stalled for a second when he said that and then I realized that I have that same mindset. I  promptly decided that was bullshit and I should be able to expect more from people.

It was a long time ago that I understood that for the most part I shouldn’t expect much from people in general. This unfortunately includes some family members and previous co-workers. However, I still think that is complete bullshit. I shouldn’t have my expectations bar set so low that anyone and their cousin Leroy could trip over.

Yes, there should always be a minimum expectation that is relevant to the task at hand, but I have always tried to expect a little more from people. The only reason I believe I can expect a little more form people is because I always expect that little bit more from myself. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable here to expect at least the minimum.

 

Micromanagement

Micromanagement is one of the worst ways to run a business and/or supervise employees. To me it says that the supervisor doesn’t trust the employee(s). Having to report about every single facet of a job task is tedious and a waste of time which in my experience makes completing the task in general take more time.

When starting something that is a brand new service, product, or procedure I am more than willing to go through some extra motions and extra reporting steps just to make sure everything is running smoothly and working as should be. However, when it has been some time into whatever it may be step back and the employees do what they have proven to be able to do.

Another acceptable reason for micromanagement would be safety. If the task being performed is something that is abnormally dangerous than  yes by all means please check and double, triple, quadruple check me. Last thing I need is causing harm to myself or someone else.

If you are in a supervisory position have some faith in those in your charge. Once they have mastered what is required take a step back and let the machine run. Let the expectations needed be known and I’ll bet everyone steps up and gets it done.

Do Your Best

When set to a task whether it be a task at one of my jobs, in scouting, etc… I do “my best”. By “my best” I try to figure out how to give 100%. I strive to always bring my “A” game. Honestly, I don’t know any other way to do things. The only time I don’t put in my max effort is when I am sick or injured even then I am going to look for a way to maximize my effort.

Here comes the rant.

I take issue when I have to work/interact with someone and they aren’t bringing their “A” game. I don’t expect it all the time, but when you never show up with your “A” game don’t expect me to be on my good list for long. What really annoys the shit out of me is when a person’s “B-” game is impacting my ability to put forth my “A” game.

(Even high performance race cars aren’t capable of having the throttle pinned to the floor all the time. Have to down shift and throttle back once in a while. However, when second place starts closing the gap and it’s the last couple of laps get it in gear and pin that throttle.)

I’m going to borrow a quote from Adam Carolla, “Don’t do your best. Do my best.” I’m not saying you need to be able to perform at my level all the time, but when I only have to put forth 75% of my effort to equal 100% of your effort that’s not kosher.

I am also reminded of conversation I had with my mother the other day.

Me: I’m tired of busting my ass and always bringing my A game while some people show up and only bring their B- game.

Mom: I think you have higher expectations than is reasonable for most people. You should probably knock it down a peg.

I thought about that for a second and then dismissed it. I’m not going to lower my expectations of others when I know that they are capable of doing better work and/or achieving better results. Even more so when I know they are shirking responsibility.

Me: I’ll knock it down one peg when everyone else steps it up 3.

I’m sure some people are gonna get butt hurt over this taking it as a personal attack.

I honestly don’t care. Most of the people I interact with will read this and not give it a second thought because they bust their ass as hard and sometimes harder than I do and have not a thing to worry about. Some others will read this and might feel insulted, angry, hurt, and possibly guilty. If that happens to be you, take a long hard look in the mirror before you take issue. This is an opportunity for self evaluation and improvement. How can you improve “your best?” It’s a question I try and ask myself at least once a week.