February 4, 2013



Did you ever assign a job or delegate a responsibility and then demonstrate some lack of trust or assume responsibility for it again out of a lack of confidence in the person to whom you originally delegated it? A lesson in this was taught impressively by a blind man.

This was a blind man with a seeing-eye dog. He arrived at a busy downtown intersection and the traffic light was red. As the signal turned green and the “walk” sign flashed, the people at the cross walk stepped out rapidly to cross the street–but not the blind man. His dog did not move and it was likely because there was a bus by the curb that blocked his vision of oncoming traffic from the left.

A man seeing the problem stepped to the blind man’s side, took his arm and with a nudge said, “May I start you across the street?”

As the helpful man provided eyes for the blind man, I could see the dog looking first to the left which was the direction of potential on- coming traffic and then back at his master. The blind man could feel the dog’s head touching his knee as he looked backwards. The man doing the guiding explained the nature of the problem and why the dog had not started from the curb.

The blind man thanked him graciously and then said firmly, “Now would you please let go of my arm. My dog doesn’t like people taking over his job.”

There are times when it’s necessary to check up to see if a job you delegated has been completed. If so, it will be important to do it with great caution and diplomacy. It would be well to accept this advice from a man whose vision on the subject of delegating wasn’t dependent on his eyesight.