As Gino wrote in his kickoff post to this series, The EOS Life® is composed of five points or disciplines to focus on. The EOS Life is a journey — sometimes you’re going to be really good at these things and sometimes you’re going to fall. It’s just a journey that goes up and down. The way I see it, these are disciplines to focus on.
Jocko Willick, a retired Navy SEAL, says that discipline equals freedom. I like to amend that a little bit by saying:
Simplicity + Discipline = Freedom
If you want to live The EOS Life and adhere to the disciplines of The EOS Life, then you’ll need to simplify everything. It’s one of the Five Leadership Abilities™ we teach to every single EOS client because it’s much easier to stick to things that are simple.
For example, if you ever tried to start a new habit and you set up a morning routine that has 74 steps in it, the chances that you’re going to actually stick to it are pretty much zero. So it’s this simplicity and discipline that will help you achieve freedom. That’s the mindset I want you to have, that living The EOS Life requires you to stay true to a simple set of disciplines.
First Discipline: Doing What You Love
I call it a discipline because it takes a tremendous amount of focus to do only what you love. Most people fall into the trap of “more is better.”
As Greg McKeown says in his great book Essentialism: “It’s the disciplined pursuit of less but better.”
Now, the first tool that we use in the EOS Process® to help you do what you love is the Delegate and Elevate™ Tool. For starters, list all the activities and tasks you’ve completed over the last two weeks. You could make it a month or a quarter if you want. List everything, both personal and professional.
Once you have your list, you are going to apportion it into the four quadrants of the Delegate and Elevate Tool.
Write anything you did that you love and are great at — things you do that give you energy and that you’re passionate about — in the top-left quadrant.
Next, write things from your list that you like and are good at in the top-right quadrant. These are things you really like, but it does drain some energy from you.
Then write down everything you are doing that you don’t like, but you’ve become really good at over time, in the bottom-left quadrant. These are typically things that may have excited you in the past but no longer do.
Finally, write down all the things that are hard, annoying, lame, and frustrating in the bottom right. These are things you don’t like and are bad at.
Sometimes I like to do this in reverse order. Sometimes the negative things have a lot more emotion around them and I start in the bottom right and work my way up.
Also, know that finding your God-given talent, your Unique Ability®, as Dan Sullivan calls it, is a lifelong journey. Things you were doing when you started your career may have lit you up. Those things may have been in your top left, then over time moved right, then down to the bottom left. Like I said, it’s a journey.
The Delegate and Elevate Tool is the basis from which everything else flows. It shapes your entire organization and it shapes your life. Once you are clear on your Delegate and Elevate, you need to do something about it. It wouldn’t be EOS if we didn’t make it actionable. It would just be arts and crafts.
Time to Delegate
In your four quadrants, circle or highlight three things you want to delegate within the next quarter — preferably within the next seven days. Those are Rocks, or to-dos.
That takes us to the Accountability Chart™, which is the ultimate tool for delegation.
Those three things you want to delegate may turn into an empty seat on your Accountability Chart. They may be an outsourced partner you need to hire, but whatever it is, make sure you are delegating it to the right “who.” Make sure they have that task in their top two quadrants. Ideally, it’s in their “Love/Great” quadrant. In other words, they have to “Get it, want it, and have the capacity to do it.”
Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy wrote a great book called Who Not How. Essentially, you never ask “How” to do something; you ask “Who” do I need to get this done. I think always asking “Who not how” is a key discipline for you to say in your “Love/Great” quadrant, staying focused on doing what you love.
There are two other options to get rid of things in your bottom two quadrants. You can look to delegate a few things to technology to automate them, or you can simply stop doing them.
So that’s the first discipline of The EOS Life: Doing What You Love. And always remember: it’s a lifelong journey.
In my next post, we’ll take a look at the second discipline of The EOS Life: “With People You Love.”