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  • Writer's pictureAdrian Alexandrescu

The holiness of the deadline

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

My core value, both in life and business has been "keeping your promise". Trust is the foundation of everything: family relations, friends, business relations and so on. I could never trust somebody who fails repeatedly to keep his word and I couldn't pretend to have someone's trust if I would fail my promises to that person.

Moreover, I strongly believe that in business, long term relationships (the ones that bring most benefits to both the client and the supplier) are built on trust. So I always considered that the first step to build trust is to keep your promise, at all cost.

Which leads us to... DEADLINES. In my opinion keeping a deadline is synonymous to keeping your promise. But over the time I couldn't help notice how various people interpret the dreaded DEADLINE.

The "Surface Scratcher" Deadliner - will interpret the deadline as the date and time of providing the first variation of its deliverables. Usually starts working on the job in the last half or third of the total allocated time. In his opinion he ticked the deadline and everything that comes afterwards, until the job is truly done are just some "feedbacks and minor revisions". General characteristics of the "Surface Scratcher" are poor level of general involvement, lack of attention to details and decent communication skills which he or she uses to try to explain why he did a good job and the problem lies with "the others".

The "Panic Mode" Deadliner - will interpret the deadline as the end-of-the world date. Usually squeezes everyone involved in the job to do their part as soon as possible, so they save plenty of time for revisions and improvements. Their strategy usually provides good results in 50% of the time, while in the remaining 50%, the squeezing is so exaggerated that it generates poor outcome so he or she uses the remaining time to fix and bring the overall job quality to a good level. I tend to think that his behavior is influenced by his inner belief that everyone else around are "Surface Scratchers", so squeezing is the only viable option.

The "Sayer" Deadliner - will commit initially to any deadline, regardless if it's realistic, relaxed or impossible. When the deadline day arrives he will simply not deliver, leaving the others in a very tricky situation. Not much more to say here, only that there is no future in working with them. Although from time to time they might do a good job, there will always be a high risk that they will revert to the old habits when the next high importance deadline strikes.

The "Wise" Deadliner - will treat any job realistically and with maturity. Will start working on the job as soon as possible, will try to understand the reasoning behind any request and will deliver good quality in due time. He will spare no effort to get the job done and will put real involvement behind every task. When you have such a person in your team, make sure you pass on your appreciation to them, as they are quite rare birds.

What's your opinion? What other typology of deadliners have you met?

Photo: Getty Images

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