|Nigerian Economic Analyst Femi Awoyemi & PR Guru Bolaji Okusaga|
you know you can do it by Wednesday
always say Friday. If you know it will take your department a
week, say two. If you know it will cost
an extra two people to get the new machine installed and up and running, then
isn’t dishonest, merely prudent. If it
gets spotted that this is what you do, then openly and honestly admit it and
say you always build in a contingency percentage into your calculations. They can’t kill you for that.
the first bit. Under promise. And just because you have said Friday or two weeks or whatever doesn’t
mean you can coast and use up that allowance.
What you have to do is
make sure you deliver early, on budget and better than promised. And that’s the second part. Over deliver.
This means if you promised to have the report finished by Monday, first thing, it is finished but
not only is it a report but it also contains the full implementation plans for
the new premises. Or if you said you’d
have the exhibition stand up and running by Sunday
night with only two extra members of staff you have – and you’ve managed to get
your major competitor to pull out the show.
Or if you said you’d have a rough proposal written for the new company
brochure by the next meeting you not only have this but also a full color
mock-up, the complete text written and proof-read, all the photos taken and
full printing costs and quotes for distribution. Obviously you’ve got to be careful that you
don’t overstep the mark and assume responsibilities you haven’t been given, but
I’m sure you get the idea.
“When you under
promise and over deliver you have to have a bottom line – in your case, as a
Rules Player, it is simply that you will never deliver late or deliver short.
That’s it. If you have to seat blood and
work all night then so be it. You will
deliver when you said you would – or earlier if you can – without exception”
it might be stating the obvious but don’t be too blatant when you do this or
your boss will get to expect it – it should be a pleasant surprise not a
frequently used tactic.
also helps sometimes to act dumb. You
can pretend you don’t really understand some new technique or software when in
reality you know it back to front. Then
when you suddenly do all the budgets on the spreadsheets that no one else
could, you look good. If, in advance, you had said ‘Oh, yes, I know that, I
worked with these spreadsheets at my last place’, there is no surprise and you’ve
given the game away-and your advantage.
you under promise and over deliver you have to have a bottom line – in your
case, as a Rules Player, it is simply that you will never deliver late or
deliver short. That’s it. If you have to
seat blood and work all night then so be it.
You will deliver when you said you would – or earlier if you can –
without exception. It is better to
negotiate a longer delivery time in the first place than to have to let someone
down. A lot of people are so keen to be liked, or approved of, or praised that
they will agree to the first delivery time offered to them – ‘Oh yes, I can do that’, and then they
fail. They look like pushovers in the
first place and incompetent in the last.
RULES OF WORK by Richard Templer Read “Know something others don’t” from The Rules tomorrow on Asabeafrika)
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