― J.R.R. Tolkien
There are so many pressures on managers today – to produce, to downsize, to save money, to be fast and on and on. This environment can encourage you to “skip steps” as you manage. Do so with caution. It’s a tough call – the pressures are real, but the expectation from upper management that you excel has not gone away. It is as alive as ever.
Set your boundaries in order to protect yourself and the integrity of your work. Determine how far you will go to accommodate pressures from upper management and where the line is that you will not cross. You are the one who loses, if your performance diminishes.
As Tolkien alludes, shortcuts aren’t always what they seem. You may be in a rush and a shortcut looks appealing. But think it out fully before you take it. Rather than a shortcut, you may be able to innovate, find an efficiency or save some time without sacrificing quality. These are positive outcomes in response to pressure.
Having a singular message of “get it done fast, no matter what” has to be balanced with an understanding that skipping steps often leads to reduced quality. Organizations have to have their own accountability. Managers cannot do the impossible.