The Art of Delegating – don’t take the monkey!

Now I'm going to re-do that story, but this time as a pro. All my monkeys are on feeding schedules, I know they're going to be fed; so my mind is free to do what only I can do.  

Down the spiral staircase I go; and as before, I hit Ed Dickey. I look out through that door and I see that crate there. Of course I'm burned up over it. But talk to Ed Dickey? I can't. Our molecules aren't even tangent. So what do I do? I reach in my inside coat pocket and I pull out my little monkey feeding inventory and feeding schedule and I look down my inventory to see whether there is a live monkey or gorilla entitled "Shipping Room Procedures." By George, there is one. A live gorilla, a project. Now, let me ask you a question. On whose back will I have placed that gorilla without question? Anybody? On the superintendent's.

So, I then, without saying a word, walk over to the house phone to call the superintendent, Bill. Bill is sitting in his office minding his own business. I say "Good morning, Bill. With regard to your Gorilla #9 entitled Shipping Room Procedures, when was our next feeding time for that gorilla?" I know, of course. but I'm just testing him. So, he looks it up in his little black book and says, "According to my schedule, we're feeding that one two weeks from now." And I say "Bill, I have news for you. We're feeding that gorilla tomorrow morning at 8:30 instead." He says "Where are you calling from boss?" And, I say "I'll give you one guess," and hang up.

I know what's going to happen now. Bill hits the shipping room, talks to Ed, and says "Was Stancombe here? What did he see?" And, Ed says, "I'm not sure." And, Bill says, "That gives me a big problem." He gets hold of Ed's boss, the foreman, and the three of them get into a huddle. Bill says, "Ed, I have a problem. Tomorrow morning at 8:30 I've got to answer the question, 'How's it coming?' For monkeys I get 5 minutes, but for gorillas I get a half hour. And Fred Stancombe will not be interested in how things are coming today, Thursday at 4:30 because by tomorrow that will be history and Stancombe is not a historian. He will want to know how it's coming tomorrow morning at 8:30. Therefore, we're going to have to get this place in the kind of shape that when he asks me, 'How's it coming,' it better be how's it coming tomorrow morning and not how it is now."

As an amateur, when I told Ed, "Get the thing shipped" what would probably have happened? It would have been shipped. But, instead, as a pro, what did I do? I talked to my superintendent, right? What happened? The shipment of the crate was a trivial thing compared to every­thing that happened, because since they didn't know what I saw, they took care of everything that three pairs of eyes could see, working all night long. So many self assignments were created and executed I don't think I could ever calculate the leverage that I acquired.
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