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

Pro and Amateur

Only the “pro” has the answer to that question. The true "pro" in management reveals himself by his success in making his boss look like a professional.  

This is not to say that it's possible to make just any amateur boss look like a "pro." But before you give up on your own boss make sure it can't be done with him - and then turn in your resignation! Life is too short and your career is too important. But be sure! Otherwise you may be backing down on a challenge. That would finish you as a "pro." There are four basic managerial combinations of the pro/amateur set:

(1 ) When "pro" works for "amateur" - In this situation the key principle (Mister D in our illustration) is for the "pro" to deal with the "amateur" boss in such a way that the latter has no choice but to react like a "pro." If the "pro" cannot succeed, he or she should find another boss. There is no tolerable alternative. Life is too short.   (

2) When "amateur" works for "pro" - In this case, as noted, the "pro" must either replace or develop the subordinate. In the earlier chapter I helped George to develop. The process is called coaching, a sometimes slow and trying process. If George cannot develop where he is, then it is my obligation to move him to a place where he has a better chance to succeed.  

(3) When "pro" works for "pro" - In this case both people simultaneously seize the initiative: the subordinate in assuming responsibility and the superior in delegating it. Because these are complementary activities. collisions rarely happen. Usually one anticipates the other. When necessary, they negotiate their differences  

(4) When “amateur” works for “amateur” - This situation is hopeless, as you saw when my four amateur subordinates (George, Ms A, Mr. B, and Mr. C) were reporting to me, another amateur. The situation is hopeless until one or the other becomes a “pro”. It makes no difference which one because the situation becomes either (1) or (2) above. If they both became "pro's," then it becomes situation (3) above.

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