My wife, Kim, and I have been setting Murray family records for hours spent on the road, largely as taxi service to our four kids who are all involved in activities away from home. A few months ago, I circled February 1, 2016, on the calendar. We celebrate our oldest daughter’s birthday every year, but this year was a milestone birthday–Hannah was turning 16.
A few days after the big event, Hannah and I took a trip to the DMV, stood in line and waited for Hannah’s turn to take the driver’s examination. As we waited, Hannah asked, “Dad, can I drive home?” Her question changed my thought pattern from “This is great” to “This is serious.”
Hannah smiled the entire drive home. She was thrilled to experience life from the driver’s seat. I was happy, too, but more aware than ever how much focus, understanding, experience, and good judgment are needed to drive a car. Hannah has no idea how much she has to learn.
There are many good reasons to hand over the controls. Doing so creates:
- Opportunity and next-level development for the rookie
- Relief to an operator or leader who is beyond capacity
- Hope regarding how the new normal can positively impact the future
It is VERY important to remember the good reasons, because it is uncomfortable.
First, it requires me to allow someone with less experience to handle something important to me (and that I enjoy). Second, it reduces my own productivity because of the time needed to develop someone else. And, third, it exposes me to risk—whether financial, operational or health-wise.
A few weeks in, it is fun to see my daughter’s enthusiasm and teachable spirit. She is learning quickly but realizes that she still has a lot to learn. In the passenger seat, I am not holding on as tightly. I even take my eyes off the road for a second or two sometimes. We are both making progress and it feels great!