While I was walking a path cut through the woods earlier this week, I noticed more than a few shortcuts that would save several steps. Since I am out for a nice walk, who is served by taking the shortcuts? In fact, I would be cheating myself.

It reminded of golfers who mentally shave strokes off their score. If alone, they are only cheating themselves. If playing an opponent, they are cheating an opposition and harming their reputation, as your opponent is not blind and can count.

I have written about good bosses, but one of the worst bosses I have ever had took credit for almost every success and distanced himself from failures. Not surprisingly, he was a notorious cheater at golf.

Does this boss sound like anyone in the public domain? Cheating at golf is not the worst of the US president’s attributes. But, like my boss, it is not surprising he does.

Shortcuts are good when someone needs to shave time or avoid heavy traffic. Shortcuts are great for busy cooks at home to cut a few steps and not sacrifice too much quality. Pre-preparing rice or sauces for the week with Sunday night’s dinner is a Sandra Lee suggestion, whose “Semi-homemade” cooking show was devoted to easier quality cooking.

Yet, some shortcuts are more harmful than good. Not vetting candidates or possible solutions with others will result in poor choices. This especially true if the shortcutter is known for his impatience as that cheating golfer is. Think my doctor is a good choice to run the VA, even though he has no managerial experience, e.g.

The devil is in the details. We must do our best to do our homework and only take shortcuts that will serve us without suffering quality.

14 thoughts on “Shortcuts

  1. Like everything, there is a time and a place for taking a shortcut. Unfortunately, the so-called “president” knows not when or where it is appropriate. To me, if a person will cheat at golf … or Monopoly or checkers or poker … they will cheat at anything. As an aside, I’ve gotten lost more than a few times trying to find a ‘shortcut’ from point A to point B … lesson learned? Maybe … probably not. 😉

    • Jill, I believe it is a truism that people who cheat at golf also cheat at more than golf. Donald Trump is known to cheat at golf. I think he calls them “fake strokes” that he ignores. Keith

      • Jill, having to walk on eggshells around him as you never know when he will blow up. Of course, correcting his score is a risk as he is hyper-competitive.

        True story. I had a colleague that was so competitive at golf, a client wanted to fire our firm after he accused him of cheating. If you ever have played client golf, your giving clients short putts and making sure they have a good time. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: The more common form of golf cheating is called “sandbagging.” This term defines someone who overstates his handicap by not reporting very good scores. This enables the higher handicap user to get more strokes in games or tournaments. The sandbagger will play better than his handicap and win more bets.

    Note, the term works its way into business, where a business unit leader will fight for a lower threshhold for earning a bonus.

  3. And your conclusion meshes well with our responsibilities as citizens right now. We may well find it harder to cast our ballots this year than ever before. We must be sure we’re registered. We must leave as much time as possible to get our mail in ballots and fill them in properly and mail them back ASAP—or to vote in person.We may be distracted by drummed up stories —both in favor of trump (vaccine ready Nov 4) or against Biden, his family, his running mate, etc.

    We have a huge responsibility this Fall, and we need to be up to the task!

    We can’t allow shortcuts or quick reads to divert us. We must be alert and search for the truth.

    • Annie, so true. We are voting early here. Trump is running a commercial with an India-American women holding up signs. One says she does not want to risk her children with Biden. Really? With climate change denial, civil rights injustice, autocratic bent, diminishing global reputation and COVID-19 mishandling, this person thinks Biden is the greater risk to her children? Keith

  4. Note to Readers: Jill reminded me of driving in Atlanta before MARTA trains were completed. I would get lost trying to find shortcuts to stay off I-85 and I-285, which slow-moving were traffic jams. It was fun to discover a new way. Was it faster? Maybe, but at least you were moving. Keith

  5. A shortcut attempt, when you know it isn’t morally wrong, is usually fun and may lead to something good but totally unexpected or unrelated. Shortcuts altering the final product are “shotcuts” (a term I just invented now by typing badly) that shoot yourself, or someone else!, in the foot.

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