Sean McVay made history, snagging the job as Los Angeles Rams head coach at the ripe old age of 30, but he went viral with something different: an assistant that pulls him back. Watch:

McVay concentrates so fully on what happens with his players that he's not watching the referees. The referees are also concentrating on the field and as a result, it's a collision waiting to happen. The assistant yanks McVay back to prevent these accidents from happening.

We all need someone to yank us back

Life can be a bit confusing and things can come at us from all angles. A good friend can keep an eye on what's coming and help us out by saying, "hey, if you continue on this path, you're going to get hit." This can take place in personal lives as well as at work. When, for example, you're concentrating so hard on your career that you can't see your marriage is falling apart, it often takes someone to yank you back so you have your priorities in place.

We can't watch out for everything

Division of labor is a real thing that can benefit everyone. If I'm concentrating 100 percent on my part of the work and you're concentrating 100 percent on your part of the work, we can create something better than if each of us has to do 50/50. That doesn't mean we can't work as a team, but when we say "your job is to watch what's happening with the players and my job is to watch the referees" it can relieve a lot of stress.

There's no shame in having help

Help can come from many sources, and paying for it is awesome. On a career group I'm a member of, a woman was fretting about how she was felt guilty hiring a house cleaner. Shouldn't she, the mother, be responsible for her house? Hiring an assistant doesn't mean you're not responsible, it simply means you're not doing the nitty-gritty yourself. Is it an embarrassment that your boss had to hire you to help her? Of course not.

Last fall, I said yes to every speaking offer that came my way, which was absolutely fabulous, but I was spending an inordinate amount of time making slides to go with my speeches. It's not my talent, I don't like it, and what I produce (by the way of slides) is not very good. So, I outsourced them. I hired an expert who made them for me. And you know what? It allowed me to say yes to even more opportunities. I ended up doing more of what I love and my designer ended up earning more money doing what she loved.

But what if you can't afford help?

If I could afford it, I'd hire a private chef to come and make meals for me and my family every day. It's probably never going to be in my budget. But that doesn't mean you can't afford help. Some help is free and some you can get by swapping skills. 

If you've got a spouse or children you can divide tasks and focus on what you're good at. Yes, no one wants to be the best diaper changer, but if one of you takes the laundry while the other cleans the bathrooms, you're able to focus on your area without worrying about the other thing. 

From time to time I babysit a friend's toddler and she helps me with my teen. It costs each of us nothing and we both get the help that we need. 

Focus on what's important

I'm sure if I asked Coach McVay what was more important--seeing what the players were doing or making sure he was out of the referees' way, he'd say focusing on the game wins, hands down. You need to think through what's the most important thing to you and put your focus on that. Outsource as much as you can so that you can focus on the things that matter most. 

Published on: Jan 28, 2019
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