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course 4

Living It

Returning once more to the computer metaphor, if course 1 says “You’re the programmer” and course 2 says “Write the program,” then course3 says “Run the program,” “Live the program.” And living it is primarily a function of our independent will, our self-discipline, our integrity, and commitment — not to short-term goals and schedules or to the impulse of the moment, but to the correct principles and our own deepest values, which give meaning and context to our goals, our schedules, and our lives.

As you go through your week, there will undoubtedly be times when your integrity will be placed on the line. The popularity of reacting to the urgent but unimportant priorities of other people in Quadrant III or the pleasure of escaping to Quadrant IV will threaten to overpower the important Quadrant II activities you have planned. Your principle center, your self-awareness, and your conscience can provide a high degree of intrinsic security, guidance, and wisdom to empower you to use your independent will and maintain integrity to the truly important.

But because you aren’t omniscient, you can’t always know in advance what is truly important. As carefully as you organize the week, these will be times when, as a principle-centered person, you will need to subordinate your schedule to a higher value. Because you are principle-centered, you can do that with an inner sense of peace.

Again, you simply can’t think efficiency with people. You think effectiveness with people and efficiency with things. You can try to be “efficient” with a disagreeing or disagreeable person and it simply doesn’t work. You may try to give 10 minutes of “quality time” to a child or an employee to solve a problem, only to discover such “efficiency” creates new problems and seldom resolves the deepest concern.

You see many parents, particularly mothers with small children, often frustrated in their desire to accomplish a lot because all they seem to do is meet the needs of little children all day. Remember, frustration is a function of our expectations, and our expectations are often a reflection of the social mirror rather than our own values and priorities.

But if you have course 3 deep inside your heart and mind, you have those higher values driving you. You can subordinate your schedule to those values with integrity. You can adapt; you can be flexible. You don’t feel guilty when you don’t meet your schedule or when you have to change it.

Advances of the Fourth Generation

One of the reasons why people resist using third-generation time management tools is because they lose spontaneity; they become rigid and inflexible. They subordinate people to schedules because the efficiency paradigm of the third generation of management is out of harmony with the principle that people are more important than things.

The fourth-generation tool recognizes that principle. It also recognizes that the first person you need to consider in terms of effectiveness rather than efficiency is yourself. It encourages you to spend time in Quadrant II, to understand and center your life on principles, to give clear expression to the purposes and values you want to direct your daily decisions. It helps you create balance in your life. It helps you rise above the limitations of daily planning and organize and schedule in the context of the week. And when a higher value conflicts with what you have planned, it empowers you to use your self-awareness and your conscience to maintain integrity to the principles and purposes you have determined are most important. Instead of using a road map, you’re using a compass.

The fourth generation of self-management is more advanced than the third in five important ways.

First, it’s principle-centered. More than giving lip service to Quadrant II, it creates the central paradigm that empowers you to see your time in the context of what is really important and effective

Second, it’s conscience-directed. It gives you the opportunity to organize your life to the best of your ability in harmony with your deepest values. But it also gives you the freedom to peacefully subordinate your schedule to higher values.

Third, it defines your unique mission, including values and long-term goals. This gives direction and purpose to the way you spend each day.

Fourth, it helps you balance your life by identifying roles, and by setting goals and scheduling activities in each key role every week.

And fifth, it gives greater context through weekly organizing (with daily adaptation as needed), rising above the limiting perspective of a single day and putting you in touch with your deepest values through reviews of your key roles.

The practical thread running through all five of these advances is a primary focus on relationships and results and a secondary focus on time.

Delegation: Increasing P and PC

We accomplish all that we do through delegation — either to time or to other people. If we delegate to time, we think efficiency. If we delegate to other people, we think effectiveness.

Many people refuse to delegate to other people because they feel it takes too much time and effort and they could do the job better themselves. But effectively delegating to others is perhaps the single most powerful high-leverage activity there is.

Transferring responsibility to other skilled and trained people enables you to give your energies to other high-leverage activities. Delegation means growth, both for individuals and for organizations. The late J. C. Penney was quoted as saying that the wisest decision he ever made was to “let go” after realizing that he couldn’t do it all by himself any longer. That decision, made long ago, enabled the development and growth of hundreds of stores and thousands of people.

Because delegation involves other people, it is a Public Victory and could well be included in this course. But because we are focusing here on principles of personal management, and the ability to delegate to others is the main difference between the role of manager and independent producer, we are approaching delegation from the standpoint of your personal managerial skills.

A producer does whatever is necessary to accomplish desired results, to get the golden eggs. A parent who washes the dishes, an architect who draws up blueprints, or a secretary who types correspondence is a producer.

But when a person sets up and works with and through people and systems to produce golden eggs, that person becomes a manager in the interdependent sense. A parent who delegates washing the dishes to a child is a manager. An architect who heads a team of other architects is a manager. A secretary who supervises other secretaries and office personnel is an office manager.

A producer can invest one hour of effort and produce one unit of results, assuming no loss of efficiency.

A manager, on the other hand, can invest one hour of effort and produce 10 or 50 or 100 units through effective delegation.

Management is essentially moving the fulcrum over, and the key to effective management is delegation.

Gofer Delegation

There are basically two kinds of delegation: “gofer delegation” and “stewardship delegation.” Gofer delegation means “Go for this, go for that, do this, do that, and tell me when it’s done.” Most people who are producers have a gofer delegation paradigm. If they are given a position of supervision or management, they still think like producers. They don’t know how to set up a full delegation so that another person is committed to achieving results. Because they are focused on methods, they become responsible for the results.

There’s a much better way, a more effective way to delegate to other people. And it’s based on a paradigm of appreciation of the self-awareness, the imagination, the conscience, and the free will of other people.

Stewardship Delegation

Stewardship delegation is focused on results instead of methods. It gives people a choice of method and makes them responsible for results. It takes more time in the beginning, but it’s time well invested. You can move the fulcrum over, you can increase your leverage, through stewardship delegation.

Stewardship delegation involves clear, up-front mutual understanding and commitment regarding expectations in five areas.

Desired Results: Create a clear, mutual understanding of what needs to be accomplished, focusing on what, not how; results, not methods. Spend time. Be patient. Visualize the desired result. Have the person see it, describe it, make out a quality statement of what the results will look like, and by when they will be accomplished.

Guidelines: Identify the parameters within which the individual should operate. These should be as few as possible to avoid methods delegation but should include any formidable restrictions. You won’t want a person to think he had considerable latitude as long as he accomplished the objectives, only to violate some long-standing traditional practice or value. That kills initiative and sends people back to the gofer’s creed: “Just tell me what you want me to do, and I’ll do it.”

If you know the failure paths of the job, identify them. Be honest and open — tell a person where the quicksand is and where the wild animals are. You don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel every day. Let people learn from your mistakes or the mistakes of others. Point out the potential failure paths, what not to do, but don’t tell them what to do. Keep the responsibility for results with them — to do whatever is necessary within the guidelines.

Resources: Identify the human, financial, technical, or organizational resources the person can draw on to accomplish the desired results.

Accountability: Set up the standards of performance that will be used in evaluating the results and the specific times when reporting and evaluation will take place.

Consequences: Specify what will happen, both good and bad, as a result of the evaluation. This could include such things as financial rewards, psychic rewards, different job assignments, and natural consequences tied to the overall mission of an organization.

Trust is the highest form of human motivation. It brings out the very best in people. But it takes time and patience, and it doesn’t preclude the necessity to train and develop people so that their competency can rise to the level of that trust.

I am convinced that if stewardship delegation is done correctly, both parties will benefit and ultimately much more work will get done in much less time. I believe that a family that is well organized, whose time has been spent effectively delegating on a one-to-one basis, can organize the work so that everyone can do everything in about an hour a day. But that takes the internal capacity to want to manage, not just produce. The focus is on effectiveness, not efficiency.

Certainly, you can pick up that room better than a child, but the key is that you want to empower the child to do it. It takes time. You have to get involved in training and development. It takes time, but how valuable that time is downstream! It saves you so much in the long run.

This approach involves an entirely new paradigm of delegation. In effect, it changes the nature of the relationship: The steward becomes his own boss, governed by a conscience that contains the commitment to agreed-upon desired results. But it also releases his creative energies toward doing whatever is necessary in harmony with correct principles to achieve those desired results.

The principles involved in stewardship delegation are correct and applicable to any kind of person or situation. With immature people, you specify fewer desired results and more guidelines, identify more resources, conduct more frequent accountability interviews, and apply more immediate consequences. With more mature people, you have more challenging desired results, fewer guidelines, less frequent accountability, and less measurable but more discernible criteria.

Effective delegation is perhaps the best indicator of effective management simply because it is so basic to both personal and organizational growth.