'only to violate' some long-standing traditional


New Member
this is a paragraph form the book of " 7 habits of highly effective people" page 86 in PDF file. i couldnt understand the meaning of the bold part . would you please explain for me what does the bold part means ? thanks .

Guidelines: Identify the parameters within which the individual should operate. These should be as few as possible to avoid methods delegation, but should include any formidable restrictions. You won't want a person to think he had considerable latitude as long as he accomplished the objectives, only to violate some long-standing traditional practice or value. That kills initiative and sends people back to the gofer's creed: "Just tell me what you want me to do, and I'll do it."

does it means that : your person should not violate the values just for the sake of result ? if so , then this sentence must mean that your person should not break the values because of result, in that case how it is related to next sentence which says " that kill initiative ...."
  • morzh

    Well, your explanation is one of a wider possible explanation. Don't have to be the values. May be just established practices.

    For example, I can accomplish just about anything and fairly quick if I am not cost-conscious, that is I don't care ho much I pay. So I violate the established practice of cost-conscious design. Or...or....

    Now as for killing initiative, let's take that same cost issue: if I am not cost-sensitive and am allowed that considerable latitude with what I pay for parts, it does not stimulate me to optimize the design and make it less expensive. So I am not showing the initiative to work a bit harder and to reduce the cost.


    Senior Member
    USA English
    Welcome to the forum, reza

    The point of the essay is that when giving instructions to somebody, you should allow that person as much freedom as possible to accomplish a task, but (and here's the catch) you should not be so fixated on allowing the person freedom that he or she can get into trouble by unknowingly doing something unacceptable.


    New Member
    Dear Friends

    thanks for your explanations . i think i got the point now .
    just i dotn know how it is related to killing the initiatives ... .
    does it mean that : if you give freedom too much , he may make trouble and then you decide to work gofer base with him and in that case his initiatives will be killed ?


    Senior Member
    English - American

    I would say something more like: "Give subordinates permission and encouragement to use their own initiative, but be sure they understand clearly what the main limits of their initiative are. If they depart too far from the established practices, you may have to chastise them, and in response to that criticism, they may cease to use initiative and do only exactly what they are told to do."

    He (rather than you) will decide to quit using initiative (in response to the perceived unfairness of the criticism), and become a gofer. (Sometimes spelled gopher, but a play on "go for", meaning a person whose only responsibility is to go for (go and get) something when commanded. A very low-initiative job.)
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