Yesterday I shared perhaps the most important lesson I have learned in my long, long, day-long career as a director.
There is another. Who’d have thought there could be two life lessons from directing?
The lesson is to delegate. I am used to doing everything myself and I’ve often argued that this is good. Whenever you can take on a task yourself, it is great because you know you’ll do it. Waiting for other people so very often means it doesn’t happen.
So I’m not a control freak in that I need things be done my way, I’m a productivity freak in that I need things to be done.
Yesterday’s play needed me to work with the cast but it was in a writing session and there were a lot of people there. Normally I’d fuss over everything, I’d think myself smart for finding a way to incorporate everyone. But there was no time.
I have an assistant when I’m leading these writing groups and yesterday it was poet and writer and journalist Justina Hart. I told her she had an hour and I needed this, this and this. Never gave her another thought, I got right on with the next crisis.
And at the end of the hour I had this, this and this from her and the group. I’ve no idea how she got there but the result wasn’t just what I would’ve done, what I had wanted, it was better. Far and away better.
Let go, William. Tell good people what you want and then get out of their way.