Friday, October 12, 2007

"If you want something done, ask a busy person"

This is one of the nuggets of wisdom passed along to me by my mentor, and damn if it isn't true. On one hand, it seems that if you have something that needs to be done, you should give it to someone who is less busy and has more time to devote to the task. But, I've learned, it doesn't really work that way. There's a reason why busy people are busy, and people with time to waste have time to waste.

Once you learn how to delegate (which for many student leaders is a lesson still to be learned), passing along tasks to a busy person becomes a successful strategy.

Ever wonder why the administrators on your campus always ask the same people to do things? Because they know that the busiest students on campus are willing to kill themselves, deprive themselves of sleep, and sweat every detail to get something done, even when they are completely over-committed. Giving these masochistic students more to do is not exactly a strategy that demonstrates a commitment to their mental health, but the work sure gets done.

So, here's your strategic thought for the day. If you are the busy person that everyone keeps dumping more and more on, time for you to start saying "no, thank you." You're being played, and it's time to wise up. Recommend an eager, younger student leader who has something to prove. Appreciate the strategy, but don't be victim of it.

Of course, once you figure this strategy out, you start delegating things down to busy people beneath you on the leadership food chain. Yeah, it's kind of self-serving and not completely nice, but until they find this blog and clue in, you might as well get some work done.

Have a nice weekend!