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

The Professional Managee

Note what Mister D is doing: he is using his self- imposed time to get control of his boss-imposed time. It takes a lot of effort and practice as we'll now see as we continue to watch our "pro" at work with his amateur boss.  

Never in his life had Mister D lacked for ideas. But they had always been his own ideas. Never before had he been faced with the necessity of coming up with someone else's ideas before the other person had time to come up with them himself. Like the farm boy who fished “where the fish are” he now decides to find out where the boss gets his ideas when he gets them. Mister D therefore proceeds to climb into the cockpit of his boss's mind to look at his own job from there. His first reaction is one of shock. He had never seen his own job quite that way before! Indeed, he realizes that he is now faced with a new decision. He had long ago decided that he wanted his job the way it looked from where he sits. Now he's not so sure he wants the same job as it looks from where his boss sits. He must be sure, or he'll never find my ideas about what he, Mister D, should be doing. He'll just be plagued with his own ideas and wind up trying to sell them to me. He's enough of a "pro" to know from experience that this is the last thing in the world I have time for. So he decides he wants the job - even as it looks from where I sit.

The mark of the "pro" is that he makes two decisions about his job:  
  1. Whether he wants it as it looks from where he sits.
  2. Whether he also wants it as it looks from where the boss sits.
The amateur or the novice makes only the first decision. Later on when he and the boss get caught cross-wise, he feels put-upon and gets angry. But when the "pro" gets caught this way, he takes the matter in stride. After all, he accepted this part of the job too!
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