Not Your Job: Discover the Surprising Way to Save Time, Avoid Burnout and Do What you Love Forever
Invictas Publishing House (2022)
Reviewed by Dawn Colclasure for Reader Views (02/2023)
If a company employee sees a book with a title, “Not Your Job,” they may think, ‘Finally! Something I can use to get out of my boss’ quiet hiring strategy!’ But that’s not what this book is about. And, actually, “Not Your Job: Discover the Surprising Way to Save Time, Avoid Burnout and Do What you Love Forever” by Pierce Brantley is a book specifically written for entrepreneurs, business owners, and business managers. This book tackles the issue of such people taking on more work than they should, losing valuable time they should be spending on more important tasks, and suffering burnout from stretching themselves too thin. This book gives a solution to all that, by offering advice about delegating tasks to employees and making sure they actually do the job they have been entrusted with.
I do not have any experience as a manager, but I am the “owner” of my own home-based business. I have had the experience of delegating tasks to other people who claimed to be the right person for the job. Sadly, there were cases in which they were not, and there were either delays because of this or the final product was not as good as it should have been. If you’re going to delegate tasks to individuals, you have to make sure they are the right person for the job. And not only must you ensure they are the right person for the job, but you must also ensure they will actually do the same kind of work you would do yourself.
How? Read this book and Pierce Brantley will tell you.
At the beginning of the book, Brantley stresses just why it is so important for bosses and managers to delegate tasks in order to avoid burnout. Not only does he stress why it’s important, but he also points out how all the micromanaging that bosses and managers end up doing eats into their time and holds up everything else the bosses and managers are supposed to be doing instead.
The solution is to not only delegate the tasks to the right employee but to make sure that the employee completes the task by the deadline and does as good as or much better than a job the manager or boss would do.
In order to achieve that goal, it all goes back to the very beginning, during the employee’s onboarding process. The manager should take the time to really get to know their employee and their personality style which would affect how they work and interact in the long term. They should also make sure they have made it very clear to their new employee the company’s history, that they have outlined the company’s vision, and defined specifically what is expected of their role in the company. He also stresses how important it is to share company language (such as specific terms related to the company’s team members) and create sound company culture.
One important part of the beginning of the book which I found helpful was the author’s discussion about discerning what is a more valuable use of our time. This is especially true when it comes to delegating tasks to employees. Know what is valuable to an employee’s role in the company and what would be a valuable use of their time when delegating to them a task. “Delegation is about reestablishing why we work based on what is most valuable for us to do. By establishing what is most valuable for our time, we can freely and responsibly give work to others, so we get more leverage from our day. Time will recover itself if we focus our time on what is most valuable.” (Pg. 43)
The author shares a groundbreaking new strategy for delegating tasks. Each level, or “floor,” as he calls it, is defined and explained in lengthy detail. It may at first seem to be a tedious and time-consuming process, but by following this strategy, it does seem that it can produce a balanced and positive workplace where everybody is on the same page (more or less).
There are many parts of the book where the author shares templates for business managers to use, as well as links where they can download free templates for personal use.
The author spends the last part of the book sharing his insights on long-term management success, which definitely provided a lot of food for thought. I especially liked this particular form of advice: “Remind people of how their work is part of the greater good your business is doing in the world. People will continue to do good work if you do.” (Pg. 235)
“Not Your Job” is a great reminder to business owners and managers that it’s time to stop carrying the bulk of the workload that really isn’t “their” job and delegate tasks to employees they know they can count on because of adequate training and clear communication of just what is expected. It’s the kind of book that will help managers to see just how important it is to put a stop to all the micromanaging of employees who aren’t up to the task and instead build a better working relationship with the employees they value and trust to do things right in order to put their time where it should go.