How Do You Know When You’re Past Your “sell by” Date?

Have you ever opened a carton of milk and done a double-take and asked yourself if the milk is still good? The sell by date has passed but it smells (mostly) fine, so you drink it. And you pay the price later…

This thought came to me when I was watching the New England Patriots play a football game last weekend, which was a terrible game in a season that’s quickly becoming their worst in 25 years. It made me feel bad for their coach, Bill Belichick.

Bill’s drinking the proverbial milk.

I’m convinced that one of the most important skills we have as leaders is our sense of timing. Knowing when you push our people, knowing when to give feedback, knowing when to be supportive, and knowing when it’s time for someone to go.

Personally, I don’t think Bill should be fired – he’s done more for the Patriots than almost anyone (except Tom Brady) and made the owner billions – and that should allow him to go out on his own terms.

But you need to have self awareness to see the signs around you and ask yourself the tough questions:
👉 Are you on auto pilot, just going through the motions?
👉Are you on “rinse and repeat” doing the same things over and over again?
👉Are you improving your skill set or adding new capabilities?
👉Are you bored?
👉Are you ruining years of great performance and impact with current performance?

Answer yes to too many of these questions and you have your answer.

And if you’re Bill Belichick, when the world is using tablets on the sideline to review plays and you’re still using a marker and paper, maybe it’s time for a reassessment.

What stories do you have about knowing when it’s “time”?

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