March 8; Don’t Read the Staffer’s Unfinished First Draft MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK: 365 Daily Bible Verse & One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,
a worker who does not need to be ashamed
and who correctly handles the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15
|Don’t Read the Staffer’s Unfinished First Draft|
Demand the Best
Exasperated managers will often complain about substandard staff work. Reports will not have enough detail or, worse, too much.
The challenge for managers is to train staffers to deliver completed staff work. They might take a lesson from Harvard professor and President Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger.
He never read his subordinates’ first drafts. How did he know they were drafts?
He didn’t know. And,
They weren’t drafts.
The subordinates were submitting what they thought (hoped?) were completed deliverables. And they thought Kissinger would read them.
Kissinger would simply return the report with the notation, “Is this the best you can do?”
The staffer would meekly take the report back and work on it some more. Then re-submit. And Kissinger would send it back. After a few round-a-bouts the now exasperated staffer hearing the same complaint would snapped, “[Darn] it – yes, it is the best I can do.”
“Fine,” Kissinger said. “Then I guess I’ll read it this time…” (Greene 1998)
The boss was demanding Completed Staff Work.
Just as teachers of the word of Truth must be clear and avoid confusion, so must we as staffers present findings free of ambiguity and uncertainty.
Kissinger is criticized for the multiple laps – but it may have been that he knew the (unfinished) work product of the staffer who reported to him. He didn’t trust him.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. I Timothy 2:15
The 48 Laws of Power is a must read by Robert Greene, 1998.