A Great Law of Human Action

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Trương Thị Hồng Nhung

MSV: 08D170334


Managers can find an effective way to delegate work successfully thanks to reading the chapter Tom Sawyer whitewashing the fence in the famous novel of “Tom Sawyer”, written by Mark Twain because Tom Sawyer discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it – namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. When being assigned to paint the fence, Tom felt “life to him seemed hollow, and existence but a burden”. Tom wanted to hire some children walking on the street to do his work but he found that he didn’t have enough money to buy their “free afternoon”. At this dark and hopeless moment, a magnificent idea raised in his mind, instead of complaining, he returned to his work with pleasure. Soon came a boy, named Ben Rogers by and laughed at Tom because he could not go swimming instead he had to work. Tom pretended to be so interested in his work, which made Ben curious to try the work. “It suits Tom Sawyer”, “I reckon there ain’t one boy in a thousand, maybe two thousand, that can do it the way it’s got to be done”, these sayings urged Ben to ask for whitewashing the fence a bit. Tom surrendered reluctantly his brush to Ben in exchange for an apple core. Gradually, more and more boys came to whitewash the fence with Ben, the duty of Tom was just sitting under a shade tree, managing the activity. In such a short time, the fence put on “a new shirt” with the pleasure of both Tom and the children. From the story, we can withdraw two useful delegation skill. First, you need to know how to make your task inviting. No one wants to take a task which you are always grumbling about it. Tom would never have invited the children to take his work if he had been always complaining about the boreness of the work. Second, when someone asks to help you with your work, you should pretend to hold back, as Tom did, but do allow them to help...
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