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What’s the rush?

Recently I wrote about my stay in a bed and breakfast place in England. In that I mentioned that while I thought the place was great, it was a bit impersonal, due to the relative low visibility of the owner. She wrote back to me this morning to say that this was because she was preoccupied with her grand children as one of her children was having a baby. Indeed a good reason to be busy.

I am pretty sure everyone who stayed in the B&B when I was there, around the same days would’ve felt the ‘impersonal-ness’.

She had two options. 1. Close the place down while she is busy. 2. Put up a sign for all her visitors saying something like ‘Am off being a granny. You’ll be taken care of by my team. If you need anything press the bell’.

Option 2 would’ve even got many positive feelings about the owner and perhaps some flowers as well!!.

That opportunity was lost.

In this case, it is not a big loss, as the guests were not hugely inconvenienced and the place functioned pretty smoothly.

If I look at the field of sports, you often read of athletes withdrawing from an event because they were not 100% ready and didn’t feel they could do a perfect job. Remember the case of Liu Xiang? He was the 2004 Olympic Men’s 110 M hurdles champion. 2007 World Men’s 100 M hurdles Champion. He’d been injured since then and there were rumours that he would not be able to participate in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But this was home territory and there was pressure on him to take part. He did and then and after starting the race, pulled back due to injury. Image

That was a case of how not to do things. Do something when you are ready and are confident you will do your best and succeed.

I have often seen this the case with brands as well. There is a deadline to be met, often for internal reasons. And everyone is rushing to meet it. Come the deadline, the decision to be made is ‘Do we go ahead, even though we are not ready OR Do we wait till we get everything right’.

It requires a brave marketing manager to go to his boss and say ‘Sorry we need more time’. So oft times to avoid that bad moment the plans go ahead. (Of course often there are competitive pressures and deadlines cannot be moved, though in my experience these are few and far between). And then things don’t go as well as they should and a lot of resources are dedicated to course correct and redo it.

We all have one chance to make a good impression. Shouldn’t we invest enough time and effort to make sure that we do the best we can?

Ideally, we work to ensure that the deadline is met with perfection. The alternative should be to ensure we don’t compromise on the impression while doing so on the deadline. How often do we do that?


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  1. August 7, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    so true and simple to do – particularly for the B&B lady and shows a warm personal touch as well – she cares for her guests
    as for the corporate world we never ask for more time due to the fright that it will be given to someone else – and when we muck up in our haste it invariable does go to that else

  2. Claudelle
    August 8, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Information always so important. If people had known the reason for her absence I am sure they would have made allowances. Lack of information does lead us to draw our own conclusions and unfortunately a very human trait to go with the negative.

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