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

Running Out of Wrong Decisions

After George and I have "pinged and ponged" his evolving decision back and forth day after day with my only comment being, "Wrong again," he gets a little impatient. Nevertheless the one thing that keeps us both enthusiastically in this game is our certain knowledge that there can be only a finite number of wrong decisions. On the nineteenth day the inevitable happens ­we run out of them! So when he shows up with his most recent version, I glance at what he shows me, and I have to smile. He looks hope­fully into my eyes and says, "Fred, do you mean that this is finally right?" I say, "I don't know about that, George. That's your strength. But ac­cording to my strength, I can't see a thing wrong with it."  

Enter the Gorilla

So then I say to him, "George, how soon can you get this thing off the ground?" He says, "I believe that I can complete phase 1 in about eight weeks at which time we ought to have a progress review. That should take all day: the morning to review what I will have done and the after­noon to review my plans for Phase II, because I don't believe that I should proceed with Phase II until you have reviewed it." And I say, "George, you've got the job." And I leaf my appointment calendar ahead, not just a few days, not just a few weeks, but eight whole weeks. And I put a note there to myself: "Nine a.m. -- be here. George's monkey has just become a gorilla!"
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