Often times, we hear about leadership teams having to “Build the Plane” in mid air when it comes to getting a last minute project done. Man, I have been there more times than I would like to admit.
Sadly, a lot of people like living in a place where they are “flying by the seat of their pants.” It is exciting, fresh, new, and it gives you a rush. I see this in a lot of young leaders. I can’t tell you how many interns that I have mentored, who would tell me that they do their best work under the “last minute” pressure. I don’t doubt that a lot gets done when you are up against a deadline. Unfortunately, something gets lost when you are building the plane in the air. Here are a few things:
The lowering of Service Standards. The first thing that usually goes when you are pulling things together last minute is customer service. When you are under the gun, you have to make quick changes and minor course corrections and you just don’t have time to think about how these changes will affect people outside of your team. People get hurt when communication breaks down.
The lowering of Product Quality. Sometimes pastors tell me that they develop their best sermons under the Saturday night crunch. I personally can understand how the surge of adrenaline gives great ideas, I’ve had plenty all night sermon prep seasons. But there is a difference between throwing the project together for launch (last minute details) and creating the project for impact (envision to preparation to evaluation to launch). The bottom line is, when you throw things together; things get missed, lost, or overlooked.
The lowering of creativity. When pressed under the deadline, all the things you wanted to do, you can’t do because you are out of time. The ugly cousin to creativity that everyone forgets, is time. You can’t have creativity without time. Tech people often feel the weight of this when someone comes to them with a last minute change to a project or presentation and expects them to get what normally gets done in 2 hours, completed in 5 minutes. It takes time to create! I have served on many teams that have thrown a lot of ideas on a whiteboard. But when it came down to the time for the project to be completed only a few of the ideas could be implemented because of time.
I hope this helps you change your world! Ben Harrington