Procrastinator’s creed

BUSINESS MATTERS (BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE) - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - October 13, 2018 - 12:00am

There is a material entitled: “The  Procrastinator’s Creed.”

1. I believe that if anything is worth doing, it would have been done already.

2. I shall never move quickly, except to avoid more work or find excuses.

3. I will never rush into a job without a lifetime of consideration.

4. I shall meet all of my deadlines directly in proportion to the amount of bodily injury I could expect to receive from missing them.

5. I firmly believe that tomorrow holds the possibility for new technologies, astounding discoveries, and a reprieve from my obligations.

6. I truly believe that all deadlines are unreasonable regardless of the amount of time given.

7. If at first, I don’t succeed, there is always next year.

8. I shall always decide not to decide unless of course, I decide to change my mind.

9. I shall always begin, start, initiate, take the first step, and/or write the first word, when I get around to it.

10. I will never put off until tomorrow, what I can forget about forever.

I drive myself hard when I work, and maybe that is not a bad thing. But when I want to get things done, I do have to admit that I may drive others hard because I want quick responses, replies and actions so that I could get things done, and that the situation may warrant my immediate attention and decision to get that thing over and done with.

But before I get branded as some insensitive monstrous leader who impedes on the privacy and space of my people with unnecessary pressures, let me first establish the fact that I am not. Calling my officers and emailing them on a weekend is so rare because I do respect their own private time and space. But when something arises that is of great importance, I get impatient when things are not done right away. 

As I reflect on this, I realize the reason why. There have been occasions in the past when I had to make a quick business decision and that decision may cost me money if I delay making it.  And there have been times when it took my people too long to execute and it really cost so much.

There was a time when I was in a conversation with a very important client who was about to grant me the contract for a huge project, but there was just one tiny detail I needed to clear with my manager so I could be sure that the date is available and that the team could handle the project.

The client wanted an answer right away, so I excused myself and requested for a 10-minute break so that I could call my office and discuss the matter with my manager.

The phone rang endlessly. I called again…I must have called seven times and there was no response. Before 10 minutes was up I approached the waiting “VIP” client and said, “I would gladly work with you any way I can, but you may award the project to the other company.” How could I go back to my client and tell them that my manager was not answering my call right in the middle of office working hours?

That manager had a persistent habit of not answering anybody’s call, but insisted on answering and calling at her sweet pleasure. It is the same with emails as it takes her forever to reply.  Then, she calls me hours later with the feeble and flimsy excuse that her phone ran out of power or that she was charging the phone. This had happened on many occasions. People like them would put off doing important things and think that things would wait and follow their time-table.

Others carried this “Work-Life Balance” platitude too far to an unrealistic extreme. When a phone call is made on a weekend, they refuse to answer even if it is from the boss, as a sign of protest that weekends are their “private” day and they are not obligated to answer the phone or emails.

What they fail to understand is that if the position given them is so high such that they deal directly with the boss, they are in a vital position of importance to the boss and are obligated to respond.

Business today works in a 24/7 global, different time zone environment, and to allow ego to impede one in getting things done is the worst and most stupid thing anyone may want to do.

Here is the deal. If the boss sends an email, it means it is important and you have to answer it. Perhaps not right away, but at the earliest instance it has to be answered. If the boss sends a text, it may mean that the matter is urgent, and even if you cannot answer right away, you should respond and inform him or her that you will call back when you are free. But when a call is made, this means it is critical and you need to excuse yourself even for a few seconds to accept the call and to find out what the matter is. I would expect managers of high position to at least understand this level of priority, wouldn’t you?

Bosses should respect the private time and weekends of their people. They should not abuse this. But being a business owner myself, how blessed would one be to have people working close by knowing how important it is to get things done. Reward them richly.

As for those who procrastinate and wait, somebody says this beautifully and makes a lot of sense: “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” 

(Join Francis Kong as he presents a whole-day learning event this Nov. 10, entitled: “Culture of Personal Excellence” from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the beautiful Santolan Town Plaza, Little Baguio, San Juan. Limited seats available. For further inquiries contact April at +63928-559-1798 or register online at www.successoptionsinc/cpe)

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