Menu Close

#95 | Lessons from Francis Lee – Part 2

In the second lesson from Francis Lee we will share lessons on self-entitlement, delegation, and nurturing capabilities.

In the first part of this series, we shared with you Francis’ wisdom about the need to reinvent oneself and preserve a good reputation. You can read the first part here read the first part here.

Let’s continue learning more about what Francis Lee shared with our team. We will start with an anecdote that Francis Lee shared.

“I have a daughter and a son, they are both good kids, but I have the same problem when it comes to self-entitlement. When I was taking my first cruise to Mexico and my daughter was probably 7 years old; we were porting and there were kids running around the beaches with no clothes on and there were houses made in tin cans, basically. She looked at me and said, ‘Daddy, do people really live there?’ I said, ‘Yes, of course. People live there.’ Just because you live in a home with 4 televisions. It doesn’t mean in every home in the world have 4 televisions and 3 cars in the garage. It drives me crazy when I don’t think they understand how lucky they are. There’s no sense of urgency, there is very little entitlement because things are too easy for them, but we cannot blame them because they grew up in a very protected environment. As a parent, you give everything to your kids.”

Lesson #3: Children and self-entitlement

Here’s an anecdote shared by Francis.

As a parent, here’s what you can do to address this kind of issue.

  1. Send your children abroad, if you can.

    “When I tell my kids this stuff, these kind of things from the story, they will say they understand it. They intellectually understand that, but emotionally they cannot connect the dots.”

    As Francis would put it, even if you make them work for the whole month, they still know there is a security blanket. And you know that if they are in trouble, you have to go there and help them.

  2. Send your children to do a lot of charity work.

    Francis, himself, sponsors a number of charities and he makes his children join him to some of those charities. He lets his children see the less fortunate people, so that they know in comparison what they are. Like what Francis said, “At the end of the day, they have to make choices of what they would do. But you try to make them to have that level of empathy for others, for the less fortunate.”

Lesson #4: Delegation in 3 sentences

  1. Delegation is not the abdication of your responsibility.

    You’ve probably heard about the word empowerment which is one of the words people say – “I want to be empowered.”

    People sometimes define empowerment as “Leave me alone,” or saying, “Don’t talk to me.” Empowerment is not a bad thing. It is actually a very good thing.

    When you delegate something to someone, it doesn’t mean that you have given up your responsibility in terms of the outcome of their job.

  2. The more people have to learn, the less I have to work.

    Whoever works for you, you should teach them as much as you can because the more they know, the less you have to work.

    You should not be threatened because they know it. You have the job and you are looking for opportunities. You’re trying to do something else for yourself. You are always trying to learn as much as you can.

    Once you are in that position, you want to make yourself obsolete. You are obsolete by teaching as much as you can to other people working for you.

Teaching your employee
Teach your employee as much as you can because the more they know, the less you have to work.
  1. Delegation is not a universal word.

    Delegate depending on the people you delegate to.

    If you have a college graduate, you cannot delegate everything. If you have a very seasoned employee, your delegation with him or her is different from the less experienced personnel.

    • For the first one, you can give them a checklist and don’t ask for updates every hour. Ask them every week depending on how you think the job is. If this job is mission critical, then ask more often.
    • With the experienced personnel, you delegate by talking about the task and not talking about how you go about doing it because he or she might have an idea better than you on how to do it.

Lesson #5: Knowing the capability of a person

You cannot know the capability of a person at once. It has to be tested.

Just like with athletes, you don’t know how high they jump until they fail to cross that bar. You wouldn’t know your capability until you have failed. But if you train to be better, you may cross that bar, so be very careful when you start seeing your capability.

  • Never underestimate somebody’s capabilities.
  • Give every person a chance to be nurtured, to be challenged, because in that way, you are stretching the capabilities all the time.
  • Know if the individual is willing to learn. How comfortable is he? If he is comfortable and doesn’t want to do anything, then it’s very hard to nurture that person.

The capability in the individual has got a lot of factors in it, but never put the glass ceiling on somebody until you challenge or nurture it.

Francis Lee Biography

Francis Lee Image
Francis Lee
Chairman of the Sypnaptics

Francis is the Chair of the Synaptics, one of the top 150 public companies in Silicon Valley. We all know him from his leadership with touch technology in the early 2000’s. Francis and his family came to the U.S. when he was 16 and didn’t know English. He worked 2-3 jobs to get through college and followed the traditional engineering route.

One of his first jobs was with National Semiconductor, one of the early semi-conductor companies in the seventies. From there, he eventually became CEO of Synaptics, before moving on to chair of the board. Now that Francis is retired, he is even more busy helping other companies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Share This

Copy Link to Clipboard