Friday, March 04, 2011

The most prepared person in the room wins!

A large portion of my job is helping to plan future projects, and come up with designs for new logic that will run for decades to come. It is tough when there are so many different voices in the room, each with their own perspective and priorities (for example, each developer wants to use the coolest new technology because it's fun, each manager wants to re-use existing stuff because it's cheap). How do I make sure it is my design that wins? As this article reminds us, it is by being the most prepared person in the room.

When they gathered at that first meeting to hash things out, Jefferson made sure to show up with meticulously prepared architectural drawings, detailed budgets for construction and operation, a proposed curriculum, and the names of specific faculty he wanted to import from Europe. No one else in the room was even remotely as prepared; the group essentially had to capitulate to Jefferson’s vision, and the University was eventually founded more or less in accordance with his plans.
Two of the most powerful forces in human nature are laziness and self-interest. While a man will argue himself until he's red in the face to defend his selfish point of view, he is unlikely to bother if anyone gives him the excuse to be lazy instead. Give a man a plan that is already fully-formed, and 99% of the time he'll go along with it.

Please, use this revalation only for Good. ;-)


Sean said...

Reminds me of a mantra we repeated in college, "why strive for excellence when mediocrity will do". It rang true then, not so much anymore.

shadowmom1 said...

I'll rely on your judgement.