I passed my neighbor and his son mowing their yard while walking my dogs this morning. I actually did a double take because the dad wasn’t mowing the yard in the most efficient manner. In fact, there was no doubt the way he was mowing would take at least an hour longer than it should have to mow his yard.
You see, he was guiding their push-mower while his young son (most likely 7 or 8 years old) pushed the machine. Slowly, the pair worked up and down that yard, careful to cut every blade of grass together. As someone who hates yard work, my first thought was that there are a million better activities to do for parent/child bonding. But as I watched, I realized he was probably thinking much more long-term than I was.
By investing the extra hour or two to make sure his son could mow the yard correctly, the father was freeing up his time in the future to work on other areas of the yard (or skip yard work altogether). He was training his son to do the job correctly so that he could take over the task going forward. An extra hour or two today would save him countless hours over the next few years.
It makes complete sense – so why do we forget so often in business?