Thursdays are my direct report days. I have back to back meetings with the people who report directly to me. But today, I’ve completely lost my voice.
Losing my voice brings into light just how much I rely on those around me. Times like these reveal just how well a team meshes and I’m very impressed with mine.
Today has shown the intuition we’ve all built working with one another. I can gesture and they know exactly what I mean without me actually uttering a single word. And those who are in leadership position, have really stepped up as well.
It is good to know I’m not alone.
Anyone who calls has automatically been asked to leave a VM or email me. My VA has done all the leg work and made it super simple for me to reply.
I’ve also been forced to conduct my direct report meetings via email, which is very Tim Ferriss of me. I’ll explain later.
Thanks to the people around me, losing my voice has been far from a tragedy. In fact, it has been quite nice for several reasons.
1. My team is united. My voice problem has become a uniter. Everyone has a common goal, to help me function amongst them, even without my voice. I can’t ask for things, so they have to anticipate what I need. It’s eery how well they can do this.
2. People have come together. Without my voice, my whole team has to bypass me on the small things and work directly together. I can’t provide much input, only what is critical. I can’t take calls, conduct meetings, or participate in discussion. So they do it for me and keep me informed.
3. We’ve been forced to boil everything down to the essentials. This is what I mean by becoming very Tim Ferriss. I keep a copy of The 4 Hour Work Week on my iPad. I’ve admittedly had to re-read the section about emails. To conduct my direct reports today, I’ve emailed everyone. Writing takes longer than speaking so my emails have to be concise and ensure that each person can answer completely in one or two sentences. I’ve used many if/then’s today.
4. I’ve had a chance to show my trust. When I’m always here and always on, I can have direct input whenever I want. I’m probably stoking my ego more than I need to every day. Today has shown me that my team can do what I need them to do without much input by me. I admittedly realized today that I’m sometimes too involved. I cripple them into having to run everything by me when honestly, they can do it themselves.
5. I feel like Charlie Munger. This is without a doubt my favorite Charlie Munger quote, and he’s had many quotable moments. This is from Carol J. Loomis’ book Tap Dancing To Work. “Naturally, this caused extreme delegation, which is what we would have wanted as recipients of trust.” Today I have had to use extreme delegation. I’ve had to delegate much to those I trust.
Losing my voice had me a little worried on my way to the office today. Fortunately, it has turned out to be an eye opening blessing. Perhaps leaders should be silent more often, just to see exactly how great their team really is.
What’s more, I know it won’t end at work, when I get home today, I won’t be able to speak there either. I know that Christy and the kids will be just fine without me talking so much. Heck, they’ll probably enjoy it!