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.