May 26, 2007

Buying time is an old tactic. Never let your people delay things by buying time every now and then on one pretext or the other.

Working with senior management is pure delight at times as you get to learn wisdom gathered over years of experience in classic one-liners. A few days back, a President, with over 30 years of management experience, reprimanded a senior manager, who was asking for more time than necessary to implement a new initiative, by saying "buying time is an old tactic."

Later, when I pondered over this, I realized that we often avoid doing certain things that are beyond our comfort levels. And we do it in the politically correct way of "buying time". Procrastination is a bad habit and "buying time syndrome" only legitimates it. But this does no good to anyone. It only results in inordinate delay in getting things done and situations spiraling out of control.

So the lesson to be learnt is simple: First, don't buy time yourself. Second, don't allow others to buy time. Corollary of the lesson is – Just Do It!