I used to go into job interviews with the phrase “I’ll do Whatever It Takes to Get It Done” emblazoned on my forehead.
I used to write documents nobody would ever read, create status reports nobody cared about, and schedule so many meetings that people didn’t even bother to respond to the invites anymore (this was sometimes remedied by the promise of homemade cookies, which in and of itself warrants its own blog post, but the gains were only temporary. I promise.)
Even worse, I expected my project teams to work on and deliver “project artifacts” that were redundant, or clearly unnecessary, because someone else asked for them.
In summary, I did (and expected others to do) “Whatever It Takes”, which translated into doing everything and anything requested, without questioning the logic behind the requests.
The result: Frustrated teams, wasted time (and money!), and managers that still wanted more.
Gradually, I evolved from doing “Whatever It Takes” to doing (and expecting) “ONLY What It Takes” to get something done.
By doing “ONLY What It Takes”, we get rid of the unnecessary, the redundant, and the useless.
By doing “ONLY What It Takes”, we deliver only what will allow us to move forward, instead of satisfying multiple requests for the same information, in slightly different formats.
I.e., doing “ONLY What It Takes” removes ego from the equation.
Do you do “Whatever It Takes”? Do you find that you may be doing too much? What can you do to streamline and do only what it takes to get the work done, with the same level of excellence and quality?
Can you avoid writing 3 documents that repeat the same information, and centralize the information into one key document?
Can you combine two reports that you send to two different stakeholders and send one report instead?
Can you graciously decline some requests while making a clear case for why the request may be a waste of time, money, and morale?
Share! If you’ve figured out a way to streamline and cut the excess from what you do, I’d love to hear about it.