Ovid (publius_ovidius) wrote,

  • Music:

Strategies for getting things done

When I was a kid, I used to ask my mother if I could make a snack to eat. She always replied "no." No matter how nicely I asked, the answer was "no." One day, I tried a different tactic.

"Mom, I'm going to make a snack, do you want anything?"

She replied "no."

When in my first management position, I learned a secret that many managers have learned before me: it's easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. Constantly, I would ask the district manager if I could do "foo" and he would reply "no". Later, I just started doing things without asking and he would complement me on a job well done.

At work this week, I've decided to apply those lessons. I'm working on some stuff with SQL, Perl, HTML and JavaScript. Typically, our graphics teams does the HTML and JavaScript and I hand off the SQL to a co-worker who is overseeing the database part. I explain what I want, we have a meeting, everyone argues about whether or not we can do it and, a week or two later, I get what I need.

I don't have that sort of time. This product needs to be done now. I'm not waiting for damned meetings. I'm creating the database tables, writing the SQL and Perl code, designing the HTML pages and creating my own JavaScript. What I need to do is complicated and I don't want to sit in long pointless meetings trying to explain what's going on. My boss came over and saw what I was doing and complemented me on a job well done.

Okay, lesson learned. When I'm under the gun, I'm going to get things done.

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