Why Supervisors Fear Delegation: A Poem

Why Supervisors Fear Delegation: A Poem  

By Peter Barron Stark | February 2nd, 2010 | Leadership

The following poem, written by an unknown author, brings a humorous light to our hesitancy to delegate work to others.

“Functions of a Supervisor”

As nearly everyone knows, a supervisor has practically nothing to do except, to decide what is to be done;
to tell somebody to do it;

to listen to reasons why it should not be done, why it should be done by someone else, or why it should be done in a different way;
to follow up to see if the thing has been done;
to discover it has not been done;
to inquire why it has not been done;

to listen to excuses from the person who should have done it;

to follow up again to see if the thing has been done, only to discover it has been done incorrectly;
to point out how it should have been done;
to conclude that as long as it has been done it might as well be left where it is;

to wonder if it is time to get rid of a person who cannot do a thing right;
to reflect that he/she probably has a significant other and a large family,
and certainly any successor would be just as bad and maybe worse;

to consider how much simpler and better the thing would have been done
if one had done it oneself in the first place;

to reflect sadly that one could have done it right in 20 minutes, and now one has to spend two days to find out why it has taken three weeks for somebody else to do it wrong!

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One Response
  • Pierre Savoie on 08/08/2011

    I read that in one of my father’s news bulletins from the Canadian Armed Forces, this was over 30 years ago. That version went full circle with, “Reflect further that such a realization would be very demoralizing to the organization, because it would strike at the notion that a supervisor has practically nothing to do!”

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