The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (25th Anniversary Edition) by Covey Stephen R

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (25th Anniversary Edition) by Covey Stephen R

Author:Covey, Stephen R. [Covey, Stephen R.]
Language: eng
Format: azw3
Publisher: RosettaBooks
Published: 2013-11-14T16:00:00+00:00

A manager, on the other hand, can invest one hour of effort and produce ten or fifty or a hundred units through effective delegation.

Management is essentially moving the fulcrum over, and the key to effective management is 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. Remember the machete wielders in the jungle? They are the producers. They roll up their sleeves and get the job done. 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 achieve results. Because they are focused on methods, they become responsible for the results.


I was involved in a gofer delegation once when our family went water skiing. My son, who is an excellent skier, was in the water being pulled and I was driving the boat. I handed the camera to Sandra and asked her to take some pictures.

At first, I told her to be selective in her picture taking because we didn’t have much film left. Then I realized she was unfamiliar with the camera, so I became a little more specific. I told her to be sure to wait until the sun was ahead of the boat and until our son was jumping the wake or making a turn and touching his elbow.

But the more I thought about our limited footage and her inexperience with the camera, the more concerned I became. I finally said, “Look, Sandra, just push the button when I tell you. Okay?” And I spent the next few minutes yelling, “Take it!—Take it!—Don’t take it!—Don’t take it!” I was afraid that if I didn’t direct her every move every second, it wouldn’t be done right.

That was true gofer delegation, one-on-one supervision of methods. Many people consistently delegate that way. But how much does it really accomplish? And how many people is it possible to supervise or manage when you have to be involved in every move they make?

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 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.


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