Last season, I said goodbye to a good friend who has managed the clubhouse for several years. Lloyd had been a big help to our not-so-easy-to-accommodate family over his tenure at Lost Tree. Always smiling, he has been the example of diligence more times than I can count to my kids. He’s leaving our area for a higher position at a clubhouse up north…which gave me much fodder for discussion around the table.
You see, people often ask HOW DO I DO IT? I smile and say I am in upper management now. But that wasn’t always so. When I had five children and my oldest was eight, I was the swab of every deck. I did it all…sure the kids “helped.” But their helping looked a lot more like messing up most of my work while I tried to keep calm and keep them “working.”
All that turned into training. Then as they learned, they took over certain aspects of the household jobs. Eventually, they became masters of their “zones.” Laundry, kitchen, bathrooms, pantry/fridges, my bedroom, living areas, school room…all became privatized areas of responsibility for individuals to organize and keep clean. I had moved into management. A promotion indeed!
I began to notice something though. As my team had watched me sweat and work with them, alongside them on my knees scrubbing…they took pride in relieving me from my duties. So much so that I rarely had to delegate anymore. It became a race to them to say, “Let me do that for you Mommy!” And here is where my teaching point begins…
Moms, Dads…pay attention. Do you have a child that when you ask them to do something, they quickly delegate that job to someone else? Oh, the job gets done…but not by them? TUNE IN FOLKS. What you have here is a kid who has watched YOU delegate instead of sweat, and WORSE, considers themselves on par with you instead of a willing, loving, serving, CONTRIBUTING family member.
This is dangerous.
First of all, it will tick off every sibling and build resentment towards that child. Second, the delegator becomes very “wise in their own eyes” and rarely serves anyone but themselves.
And last but certainly not least, that child will grow into a lazy adult who will be looked down upon by everyone but themselves. Biggie no-no.
I never saw Lloyd delegate. I saw him do everything from moving cars through for valets, moving tables, clearing place settings, even getting water for me last week when I had a coughing fit in the middle of a forum. His team rallied around him and worked better with him because they knew he would stay late, work hard, and do whatever it took to make an event run smoothly. With a manager willing to do anything, the team was willing to do anything.
Moms and dads, there is no short-cut to raising a hard worker. Your kid has to watch you sweat and work along side of them for years before they take it on as a character trait for themselves. You can not simply delegate them into working hard, telling them what to do at every turn, micro-managing them to death. And if you listen around your home today and hear “the delegator” telling everyone else what to do or worse, giving out orders to others that you just gave that specific child…make some serious changes. In yourself, in the life of that child.
Because trust me, they won’t start out in life in “upper management.”