Deadlines Are Killing Us, And Almost Everything Else I Know About Leadership by Duncan Riach, Ph.D.

This morning, I spoke with a good friend who lives in France. He started a business with his wife to develop a web-based, software-as-a-service product. As the business began to grow, his belief in it increased, and he started to take it more seriously. One of the things he did next was to start planning and monitoring progress. To do that, he started setting deadlines. But soon “missing deadlines” created an enormous amount of stress for both him and his wife, and for the other people they were working with. “It’s just not worth it,” he told me, and he backed-off from the deadlines.

Before he and I talked about this topic, my friend had been thinking that he needed to figure out how to use deadlines, to discover how to “make them work.” After our conversation, and once he had digested the conclusions we had come to, he told me by text message that “deadlines simply don’t work at all.” Now he plans to print a massive sign that reads NO DEADLINES and stick it on the wall of his business.

In this article I’m going to explain to you what deadlines really are, why they are not effective, and what the alternative is. Actually it’s not really an alternative because what we want is a way to achieve world-class creativity and productivity, not simply an alternative way to thwart it, which is what deadlines do. But first we need to take a look at what work is and what motivates humans to do it.

Read the full article @ Medium

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