The Art of Delegating Ė donít take the monkey!
This happens three times a day, which isn't often, but it's still three times a day I pick up these monkeys from him. So by the end of the week, Iíve got (three times five) fifteen! At the end of the week, he gives me a bonus with the sixteenth; sixteen screaming monkeys, and I lay them out on my-desk like a pile of confetti. During the week, I've been unable to do anything about these monkeys. Why? Because being an amateur, I am practicing abject compliance (Freedoms 4 and 5 - see The Freedom Ladder - appendix 1) which means that my relationship with my boss is "just one problem after ≠another;" and blind conformity which means that I'm "crippled by the system." If, therefore, I am crippled by the system and stymied by the boss, I ask you, what chance will I have to do anything about these monkeys? None! And if I don't do anything about them, what do we call it? (My boss doesn't know I've got these monkeys.) Procrastination - which can be pulled off with greater career impunity than insubordination can, and so I wind up doing nothing about them by end of the week.†
I've Got a ProblemI recall that I had taken a course in Management Problem Solving conducted by a very prestigious consulting firm (my company sent me to it), and one thing I'll never forget was when the instructor said "most managers jump to solutions without defining the problem first." (I forgot everything else I learned, but I did remember that.) So I said, "Stancombe, don't make that mistake! You had better define the problem." And so I rack my brains and finally come up with the problem: I am behind! †
As I sit there trying to figure out what the solution is, Mabel gets me on the phone at about four o'clock. She says, "Mr. Stancombe, I'd like you to know that George, Mike, Valerie and Dave are sitting outside your office urgently wanting to see you before quitting time." And I say to her, "Mabel, please, please tell them that while I operate in a goldfish bowl all week long, I'm en≠titled to at least two hours of privacy a week, and I'm sure that they will accord me this. By the way, Mabel, what are they doing while they are sitting out there?" And she says, "They're playing gin rummy." And that does not turn me on.