Saturday, October 9, 2021

Eat the Biggest, Ugliest Toad First - Dan John (from "Attempts")

My wife, Tiffini, federal agent and philosopher, often reminds me of this: 

"If you have to eat a plate of toads, find the biggest, ugliest one. Eat that one first. Then, all the other toads won't taste so bad." 

For the record, we don't eat toads in our home. 


The point of this, of course, is if you have a series of nasty tasks, pick the worst first. I used this as a administrator, and once had a woman at a meeting tell me she knew she was in trouble if I called at 8:45 in the morning.

I got to my office at 8:30. I turned everything one, answered voicemail (back when people answered voicemail), opened my to-do list and circled the biggest, ugliest toad. I started my day knocking off ugly toads.

At 9:00 a.m., I had pleasant sailing the rest of the day as all the nasty, ugly, brutish stuff was behind me. I'd then take care of my monthly checklist, and spend the rest of the day doing what I consider the key to administration: wandering around. 

I'd go on the road to meet people in their offices to see the problems from their perspective. I'd drop by the printers to see how we could do things better next time. I managed by knowing the people and the problems from their vantage points. 

In my lofty office, I was nearly always wrong about what I thought was the problem in the field. In the field, there were other toads jumping up and down and leaptoading from here to there and messing up the flow of things. 

When I got back to the office the next day, I'd grab my phone and deal with the biggest ugliest toads. 

When it comes to training, do the thing you hate to do first. Usually, for most people, it's leg work, like front squats. When it comes to financial planning, usually it's an honest look at debt. 

Find the big toads.

And . . . eat them. 

Enjoy that? For more . . . 

Enjoy Your Lifting! 



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