Confessions are really hard for me.
Important, but really hard.
Confessions for me come in two different ways. Both of them entail me acting in a way that is disruptive to others.
The first way is when something is brought to my attention and I have no idea that I did it. The second way my need to confess, well, I’ll describe it in the story below.
The other day my wife and I were driving in downtown Columbus Ohio to meet our youngest son Greg, and his wife Sylvia, for lunch. Most of you already know where this story is headed by the mere fact that a man is driving in a location he is not necessarily familiar with, but here’s how the conversation went.
“Let me put the address in the GPS,” Kim said to me rather nonchalantly.
“No, I don’t need it,” was my reply. Finished by, “I know where I am going.”(Which, I guess was said with a little, OK, a LOT a of tonal impression.)
“Really?” Kim said. ”You don’t have to use that tone with me.”
In a knee-jerk reaction, I said, “I am sorry,” thinking that what I had done would be immediately forgiven and forgotten.
Kim said, “For what?”
Startled, I said, “What do you mean for what?”
“What are you sorry for?” she said, followed by a rather long period of silence.
Now you can see I am at an inflection point in the conversation. “My tone?” I must have said with a bit of guessing in my voice.
“Nice guess,” she said. “You don’t have to use that tone with me, I am just trying to help us get there on time.”
Time for my confession, “You’re right. It was not my intention to belittle you.”
“I know,” she stated. "But it was the impact it had on me.”
For sure, it was not my intention to belittle. But it was important for me to see this and then to verbalize and confess the error of my way. It is a bit cliché to say that confession is good for the soul, but in a meta-analysis of over 150 studies, the idea of self-disclosure has been found to be beneficial for the confessor. Scientists are just now starting to understand why this is so important.
The second type of confession is the type where I know I did something wrong without anyone bringing it to my attention. Usually this type of confession, I call Type 2, is something I have been thinking about for quite a long time. I have made a mistake and I know it. I have pondered over how much of the error I actually own and am responsible for. Then, after some contemplation, I make the decision that the responsibility is mine.
According to Meg Jay in her best selling book Supernormal, it is critical for humans to take our feelings and experiences and “put them into words.” Turns out, words for us become labels or categories, according to Jay. When we talk about our experiences, we are sorting them out. Organizing our thoughts into words and speaking them can take what has happened and make it understandable and even less upsetting for us.
I have a Type 2 confession to share with you today.
Many of you know I work in my own Executive Coaching and Consulting practice. I have decided that at this point in my life, this type of work fits me. I really enjoy helping those I work with become happier and healthier in the organizations they serve. That is the bright side of me.
The dark side of me is I am a control freak.
There, I said it. It feels a little cathartic and freeing to write it down for all to see.
The problem of being a control freak means I want to control everything in my business. I mean everything. So, I used to do sales, product design, product development, implementation, scheduling, finance, marketing, customer follow-up, customer communication, customer delight. Think about all the different departments in your business. I do the same thing, just on a much smaller scale.
I was doing it all. And pretty effectively for a while. But, the problem was that with my controlling every single detail, my business was only growing so far.
I wanted to grow my business, but I still wanted to do the work I loved. The question for me was how could I do both?
A few years ago, I was listening to a podcast by Michael Hyatt. He was talking about his friend who had figured out a Delegation Matrix that offered freedom to entrepreneurs. His name was Bryan Miles and his company is BELAY.
Bryan started BELAY with his wife, Shannon. They wanted to take the stress and worry out of the lives of the entrepreneur, minister, and executive, so that they could focus on doing what they love. The brilliance of all of this is Bryan and Shannon figured out a way to do this virtually.
So, after listening to Michael Hyatt, I did some digging on virtual assistants and set up a meeting with Bryan.
Now, what happened next was not rocket science, but it did revolutionize the way I approach my life and my business.
Bryan and I had a half-hour call scheduled and I thought we would spend time in small talk and getting to know each other. WRONG!
Bryan said, “Scott it is nice to meet you. Tell me 3 things that you love to do in your business.”
I was a bit stunned. "Well I love to coach, I love to speak to groups, and I love to write my thoughts out.”
“Great!” he said. “Now what are 10 things you have to do to coach someone that you hate to do?”
It took me a couple of minutes to come up with the 10 things, but I did it.
“Great,” he said again. "Now, how long does it take you to do those things?”
“I don’t know, maybe 10 hours or so.”
“Great,” he said for the third time. “Now, what do you bill your clients out at an hourly rate”?
He had me.
I was spending way too much time doing what I didn’t like doing when I could have been what I loved to be doing.
All I had to do was give up control of what I hated.
Now, how hard is that?
This is the first in a four-part series on the topic of delegation. Next week, you'll have the opportunity to hear directly from Bryan Miles. In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about Belay's services, click here.