January 15, 2007

Do You Love What You Do?

By Paul Bieber

Since this is not a consumer-oriented blog, let’s assume we are all business people and somehow or another work with glass, metal, or energy savings. Looking at the readership surveys from ‘US Glass and Metal’, our sponsor, another assumption is that most of us are owners and/or managers. This would lead us to the concept that most of us made a decision to do what we do.

So, the question is: Do you love what you do? In a non-scientific survey the most common answers were:

1.I love this part of my job, but not that part.

2.I love most of my job…except……

3.Some variation on 1 or 2.

Now What?

This survey also told me that people who love what they do, do a better job at what they do. So the key to a successful career, and a successful glass shop is: love what you do.

Yep, it is just that simple.

OK, it is not that simple if you are a one-man company with no help.

But for the rest of us…do what you do best! The hardest part of being in a leadership position is delegating some authority to others. Take what you do best…be it setting up quotes, field installation or paper work and delegate the other duties to the rest of your crew. It doesn’t mean that you are not the boss. It means that you have analyzed what you and the people around you do best, and have made that your work plan. If you love working with customers, then that is what you should do the most.

Yes, when you file the tax return it is all your responsibility, but if you delegate properly, you will have a larger tax return to file! Make a personal inventory of what you love to do at work, and then arrange the responsibilities of your company for you to do those jobs, and hire or train your staff to do the other jobs. If you are a two-person company, then hire your opposite self. Make this a conscious decision as you hire. Look for talents that compliment what you have, and then, let those people do what they do best. When you interview, ask the candidates if they like doing certain tasks, the ones you don’t. Ask them if they are better at paper-work, or with their hands. Ask if they are computer literate, or would be willing to learn. Do they speak a language that you don’t?

For the last twenty years I had the privilege of working with a gentleman who taught me this concept. He knew what he was good at, and he created my job description to balance his strengths. It is a mistake to think that just because you are in a leadership position that you have to do everything. It really means that you have to lead the people who do everything. Whether it is one person or a dozen, if you balance your talents with those around you, and you take the parts you love the most, you will be successful, and those around you will be successful too!