Everyday Drills

Whether in a sport, at a job, or in a family, everyone everywhere is part of a team. The Everyday Drills blog is designed to create a moment each morning where we are intentional about becoming better teammates and team leaders. Subscribe for thoughtful ways for you and your team to be challenged each and every day.

Who has the right of way?

Do I expect as much freedom as the next person? That sounds reasonable but there is a problem with that expectation. Freedom and entitlement to freedom only ever look good on paper. In reality, one person’s freedom is likely to infringe on another person’s freedom. Think about how people decide who is to go first when two vehicles arrive at a four-way stop sign simultaneously. The law doesn’t define who has the right of way. Instead, it states that the car on the left should yield to the car on the right. Insisting on a right of way is a dangerous way to drive. It’s also a dangerous way to live. Demanding your right over another’s is not only rude, it starts unnecessary conflict. What if a team paid more attention to when they should yield to another than when they are entitled to assert their way? 


Organic management (or mismanagement) seems cool in theory because it feels free and democratic but eventually the actual limits remind everyone that no one is ever as free as they want to be. The management falls to the team to keep the limits from making too many decisions for them. People tend to resent the person who manages the limits but the limits are there with or without a manager. It’s the manager’s job to make sure that the team achieves what it can within its limits. Someone has to have a big picture view to keep everything coordinated.


Time, money, attention, mind space, proximity, and number of available lunch appointments have their limits. Everyone has a limit so limits are not what separates the great team from the ordinary team. The management of limits are what make that distinction. Understanding that limited resources can be wasted on unimportant things is at the heart of the attitude of responsible stewardship. Money is the famous limitation but there are people who have so much money that it seems limitless. Those people still only have seven possible lunch appointments in a week. Those people only have 720 minutes per day and a third of those minutes are spent sleeping. The point is that management begins with more intention than most people are willing to consider.