Open webinar "Work: own and someone else's"

    Good afternoon friends! Already this Thursday we are launching a new stream for the course “Development Manager” . And today we want to share with you a transcription of an open webinar, which took place last week.

    Open webinar "Work: own and someone else's"

    On the one hand, the phrase "this is not my job" sounds repulsive: somehow not proactive and non-command. On the other hand, all work cannot be done. That is, doing “not your own” work is equivalent to NOT doing your job! And this is already fraught with ...

    So how to separate your work from not yours? What to consider as the work? What to do with non-work if all the same we are interested in the final result? We talked about all this and many other things at the next open lesson of the “Development Manager” course.

    Lecturer - Stanislav Mikhalsky , development director at Biglion Technologies.

    Work and levels of activity The

    formal definition of work is: "Work is a human activity aimed at creating values ​​or meeting the needs of other people." The key word here is activity. First, any activity implies the availability of resources (in our case, this time). Secondly, the activity must lead to the final result . And these two points (resources and end result) must always be strictly controlled.

    Another key point - the levels of activity . As is known, the activities of activities are different.

    Consider the activity levels in more detail:

    1. Operating. Work at this level is exactly work, that is, physical actions. Let's say we make bricks.
    2. Tactical. It is about optimizing operational processes. For example, about replacing a conveyor with a more productive one. It will allow to get bricks of better quality, faster and at the lowest cost.
    3. Strategic. What goals are pursued in the manufacture of bricks? To build a house? Sell ​​bricks on the market? Make a strategic supply of bricks in stock?
    4. Level of goal setting. What is the mission in general? Why are you doing this? Why bricks? Life is short, there are many other, more interesting activities.

    The choice at which level to act is ours. And it is not always done consciously. After all, the hungry can be helped in two ways: give him fish or teach him to fish. So it is in our managerial reality: we can do something for someone quickly (operational level), but we can spend time and train a person to do it further (tactical level).


    Matrix The Eisenhower Matrix is ​​a simple but extremely effective tool, if you remember it in time.

    The idea is simple: we divide the tasks according to two criteria: urgent - non-urgent; important is not important. This way we get a 2 x 2 matrix. This is a very common visualization tool. By the way, when training in the course "Head of Development"such matrices are used regularly and on various occasions, personifying certain managerial pains.

    So, we have 4 squares:

    1. Important-urgent.
    2. Important-non-urgent.
    3. Irrelevant-urgent.
    4. Not important-indefinite.

    The two lower squares are of little interest to us. But the "Fires" and "Goals" need to be able to distinguish and see, and the goals also manage. As it is already clear from the definition, “Fire” is something that cannot wait: urgent report, server crashed, etc.

    What is the problem with “Fire”:

    • they are endless;
    • they distract us from the most important - square number 2. But it is in it that the main work of any person in the broad sense consists. As in the personal sense (working for oneself: second education, learning a foreign language, refresher courses, going to the gym, etc.), and in the sense of working at work (introducing a new process, improving the stability of the system, upgrading the project, etc. ).

    Obviously, “Goals” are very important. But they differ from “Fire” in that if you don’t do them right now, you won’t fall a head and the head will not swear. But do not forget that at the moment when you go to extinguish the next Fire, the future is far away gray, fading, and sometimes even disappears .

    The best way to escape from fires is to solve them systemically, that is, at the tactical level. The first mistake of the head and the first example of not his work - putting out fires at the operational level . Yes, you can put out one fire yourself, but after that you have to understand the problem, teach the subordinate to solve it and delegate the task to him. This is a tactic.

    What to do at a strategic level? Make fires impossible or unlikely? In general, it is true, but this is not an exhaustive answer. Here, too, has its own nuances, but the story about them is beyond the scope of this webinar.


    1. Operational level. We go and repair ourselves.
    2. Tactical level. We go, we repair (if without you in any way), we learn, we delegate.
    3. Strategic level. We eliminate the root causes of fires (this is ideally, which, as is well known, is not always achievable, but it is necessary to strive for it).

    However, let's go back to our matrix and again talk about the importance of square number 2.

    Stones, pebbles and sand

    Let's tell a parable. The professor gathered the students and set an empty can in front of them. After that, he put into it large stones.

    - Is the bank full? - asks the professor.
    - Full! - students respond.

    Then the teacher pours pebbles in the same jar. It falls between large cobblestones, falls down, fills the empty seats. The can is full again, but not full, and students confirm this. Next, the professor pours sand, which occupies all the remaining space, falling into the most inaccessible corners of the can.

    After that, explanations follow that big stones are fundamentally important things in our life: the health of loved ones, family, raising children. Pebble is a career, various achievements in the style of “growing a tree, building a house, buying a car”, etc. Sand is an everyday routine (scandals at work, various feils and other things).

    The conclusion is simple : the sequence of “filling the jar” is very important in our life. If you first pour sand, and then pebbles, the stones (the most significant things for us) will no longer fit.

    And this is exactly the story of why it is so important to focus on square number 2.

    Why can not someone else do the work?

    When you do someone else's work, you don't do yours. This is the main and most obvious thought. But to understand it, you must first answer what is your job. If the management has set you the task of making sure that nothing breaks, then your jumps to the embrasure are, in principle, justified. Moreover, if you go the other way and instead of self-extinguishing fires, gradually rewrite the system (read, act at a strategic level, look at the root), the system will continue to fail periodically, and management may think that you are not doing your job (you did not agree on systemic actions with the management, therefore, did not change the expectations of your superiors).

    Therefore, in an amicable way, you should synchronize with the management and clearly understand what your work consists of. And this is a marker, because if you are not doing your job, but you are always busy with something, then someone has forced you to do someone else’s work.

    Other side effects from what we do someone else's work:

    • we prevent others from learning;
    • we compensate for the imperfection of the system.


    time Your manager time can be divided into the following components:

    1. Boss time For a while, your boss always picks up for obvious reasons.
    2. System time We are talking about the constant performance of some standard things (to keep a schedule, fill in magazines).
    3. Time for your own initiatives. Its a bit, but nonetheless. But even the little that is is divided, in turn, into the time during which you can do what you really want and the time that you spend on your subordinates. And here it is impossible not to recall one of the most widely read articles by Donald Wass, “The Manager and His Time, or Who Will Get the Monkey”.

    On whose shoulder is a monkey?

    Imagine that you have completed all the tasks of the boss, are walking down the corridor and are thinking that now is the time to start an modernization project. And at this time a subordinate "catches" you on the corridor, who, even without greeting, reports a problem. And he does it so quickly that you do not fully understand the situation and want to understand everything in more detail. And you answer on the machine that you will definitely do this, but a little later.

    What is the result? A subordinate came to you with a problem (with a monkey on his shoulder), talked to you and left on his way. Now you are walking with a monkey on your shoulder, which constantly whispers to you: “Go, find out about this problem, gather information, call someone, etc.” At the same time, the subordinate himself left absolutely unburdened (he reported on the problem , therefore can go, say, in a smoothie-bar).

    Moreover, the subordinate not only shifted the responsibility onto you, but also took you under control. Who, if not he, after a while asks: “Well, how did you find out, clarified, figured out?”

    Ultimately, until you reach your workplace, you can be covered with monkeys of various sizes, and in the workplace you can wait visitors with the same animals.
    And, really, what kind of fool would refuse if a monkey was taken from him?

    There is only one way out : to make sure that the subordinate leaves with his problem (he came with a problem - he left with a problem). And even better, let Donald Wass's article be read to his subordinates, and then, if anything, tell them: “Hear, take the monkey!”


    There are a number of well-established expressions and management strategies that can be called antipatterns:

    1. If you want it to be done well, do it yourself. This story locks you up at the operational level. Catch the fish yourself and feed the starving village. Enjoy your ego, but no more.
    2. You can not work well - work a lot. Nothing but the inability to operate at a level higher than the operating level.
    3. To become irreplaceable, to become the best in everything. Having shown yourself in all directions, you will again tie yourself to the operational level and stop thinking about how to simplify the work, delegate, etc. Remember, the OS delays.

    It remains to add that during the webinar the above topics were discussed in more detail and on real examples. Watch the video in full and don't be late for the “Development Manager” course Open Day !

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