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

Monkeys from Mister B

Few of my people pay much attention to these projects after they have been implemented simply because I don't follow up and require compliance. However, I take my cue from my boss who is too busy needling me about last week's operating figures to get around to these headquarters-originated projects, and my staff, in turn, takes their cues from me. While I know on which side my bread is buttered, that doesn't solve my problem with Mister B. He's getting after me more persistently every week to the point where I’m evading him too. His behind-the-scenes nickname for me is “Leaderless Stancombe." He goes on, "If the qualities of dynamic, inspiring leadership were a job requirement in this company, Stancombe would be let out on the street tomorrow.”  

Mister B is yet another reminder of my managerial ineptitude. The principal category of monkeys that Mister B has been giving me all along is that of becoming familiar enough with all of his projects that I could give them appropriate "top management" support. Thus, on the weekend of my conversion, I had decided to read all the instructions, conference leader's guides and manuals to the point where I could "get with it" on all these projects that are spawned by corporate head­quarters. Then I would be able to provide the kind of day-to-day informal leadership to these projects upon which their success depends. But all of that changed on Saturday morning.

The Professional Manager

On Monday morning after the transformation which converted me to a "pro," after having finished my business with George and Ms. A, I enthusiastically asked Mabel to send in Mister B. After covering the preliminaries with him as I had with the other two, we begin talking about his monkeys that I have. He counters by pointing out that it's my job to imbue my department heads with the importance of his projects.  

"Just a minute," I interrupt, "you are the specialist in these matters. You spend all your waking hours on them. I suggest that it's your job to fill in these department heads."

"One-feather Indians like me can't talk to fifteen­-feather Indians. That's your job."  

"Get me a copy of your job description, please," said I.

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