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YOU are the WORK

Updated: Oct 28, 2022

Once you become a leader, that is, you advance to a level of work where you no longer perform the tasks but you supervise those who perform the tasks, you will spend a greater amount of time working on yourself than you will on your work. Or put another way you will become your work. Sounds heavy, it's really not, so let's dive in!

To get here you must perform your work at a level of competency and/or efficiency higher than your peers. This will give the recognition required to elevate you above your peers. You have to be able to see the whole picture and develop strategies to overcome challenges and solve problems, that will require your boss to promote you. Once you have taken the lead the rest of this will make sense.

Start with you. You'll have to understand your own psychology and behavior pretty well before you can start to influence other people's behavior. There is a great book on this to get started called "Lead yourself first".

Not only do you need to start with you in terms of leadership you have to start with you in terms of state. Meaning what you are feeling, thinking, focusing on, simply your mood. Getting into a peak state and approaching work or challenges will produce profound results. Things you may look at later and think "wow I really did a great job, how did I do that so well?" On the other side if you attempt to do some work from an angry, upset, scared state you will likely do poor work, that you will look at later and think "wow that is really terrible, how did I not see how bad that was when I was doing it?"

I've started a practice of only working from a peak state or at least not a bad state. If I find my state degraded, I first work to fix that and then begin my work. I've found that in a bad state I only do bad work that needs to be repaired or redone later. So even though it may feel like a waste of time when something is happening and needs to be worked on urgently, to go fix your state it will be the shortest path to the best outcome. Sometimes you are on offense, making progress to your goal and sometimes you are on defense, holding the ground you've conquered. When I am in a bad state, I go into defense mode and try limit the amount of damage that is done. Anger can't build, create, or repair but it can destroy.


Think of your mental state the same way you think about the state of your 4X4. If you haven't done the basic maintenance, parts are broken, its in a degraded state. Now think about taking it out on the trail. Are you going to be confident? What is going to happen when you need to give it gas to get up a hill or crawl over a rock? You'll probably break something and be stuck there fixing it until you can limp back or home. Or worse you may have to get it hauled out and towed home. Don't hit the trail with your rig in a broken state and don't work from a broken state.

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