1 Jan 2009


During a casual chat, GW mentioned how difficult it was to delegate job to young colleagues. This reminded me of an interesting story.

A few years ago, our Boss was working both as a Chairprofessor and a hospital administrator. Everyday, he need to see patients, teach students, do research, and attend numerous administrative meetings. In an international meeting, he met Prof AL in the United States and complained about his hard work.

Prof AL was not sympathetic. "Why don't you ask other people to do the jobs?"

"Who can I turn to?" our Boss answered.

Prof AL casually pointed at one of his younger colleagues. "He can do it," she continued. "You feel it difficult to delegate jobs to others because you think you do those things better. Doing everything yourself is not kindness. It is arrogance. Think about it. Probably any of these guys can do a better job than you because they have time and you don't."

I do not know how much influence this conversation had, but our Boss did quit his job as a hospital administrator several months later. Many local people were worried that this would be a great loss to our hospital. However, our Boss achieved much more than any of us could imagine afterwards. The one who took over the post as the department head also turned out to be a great leader.

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