Delegate More! Getting rid of monkeys

A Casualty Insurance Policy on Every Monkey

He comes back and sticks his head around the door. I say, "George, promise me that if you should arrive at your decision before we meet next time, promise me you'll take no action on it until after we've discussed it three weeks from now!" He says, "Scouts' honour!" As he turns around to walk down the hallway, I slump in my chair, relieved and relaxed, fanning my face which is now drenched in perspiration. He can­not hurt me now. He can decide on anything he wants, but he cannot act on that decision until after we have discussed it!  

Let us now take a look at our Freedom Scale again, but this time as a series of deductibles on casualty insurance policies on monkeys. Which one of those five deductibles did I pick when I said to George, "In the event that you should arrive at your decision before we discuss it next time, take no action on it until we have discussed it?" Which one? Number Three! It follows, there­fore, that for every monkey that leaves your presence on a subordinate's back, it shall have a casualty insurance policy with an authorized degree of freedom appropriate to your anxiety index. Now while the "anxiety index" is a highly emotional thing, I am here to remind you that you can with precision, using the "gut feel" of your anxiety, pick the proper degree of freedom. It is not slide-rule precision, but still it is pretty precise.

Freedom and Protection

If, therefore, you make it a habit never to let a monkey leave your presence (either face-to-face or on the phone) unless it has one of those degrees of freedom assigned to it, it tells your subordinate what freedom he will enjoy on that "next move," and it tells you what protection you will enjoy. And the one word that was used twice in that last sentence was the word "enjoy." If you have to manage anyway, you might as well enjoy it!
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