The necessity of pruning

by Jack Warren, editor

In the world of operations, it’s not like there’s any shortage of things to do. Seems as if there is a new duty assigned every week (please see Other Duties as Assigned). And for the duties that are not assigned, most enterprising operations folks find a way of adding to their own plate.

At some point it can become absolutely overwhelming. Yet the people who are in these positions consider it a challenge. Frankly, that’s one of the reasons you’re in this job and it’s one of the myriad of reasons that the head coach and athletic director find you indispensable. However, like any good gardener will tell you, in order to promote real growth, you’ve got to do a little pruning.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with adding new responsibilities. Some of them will allow others on the staff to focus more on their primary roles and some are new challenges that will allow you to grow in your position. Periodically, however, you must make a systematic assessment of your responsibilities and determine which ones have to go.

This pruning is a regularly scheduled task on my calendar. I try to set aside a little time each quarter to review my calendar and to-do list and ask, what am I currently doing that I can assign to someone else or drop altogether? It is the only way that I can grow without becoming entangled or overwhelmed. There’s also a side benefit of being able to give someone else an opportunity.

Don’t think that you’ve got to do it all. At some point, what has been a very healthy plant will start to show signs of disorder and poor health. Make it part of your regular routine to examine what you’re doing and trim where necessary. It’s a decision that will pay long term dividends.

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