Steps to Management Success – Step 101: Don’t Expect Miracles

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 14th, 2010


Don’t Expect Miracles

Every business can benefit from a lucky break or two, but you can’t manage by wishful thinking. If you remove your rose-colored glasses, what you see is usually what you get.

WHAT IT MEANS: As the late Brooklyn Dodger general manager Branch Rickey used to say, “Luck is the residue of design.” Once in a while, your business may unexpectedly benefit by being in the right place at the right time, but more often than not, you have to do your homework, allocate your resources, and do whatever else is necessary to plan for success. You can’t plan for miracles and you sure can’t expect them. Such wishful thinking is the very antithesis of reality-based management.

ACTION PLAN: In any situation, try not to let your desire for an insanely successful outcome cloud your good judgment. Get the facts. Don’t buy into your own hype. Make reasonable assumptions and projections. You are not going to sell a kajillion of anything just because it’s the coolest little gizmo you ever saw or because your Uncle Ernie said you would.

EVEN BETTER: Give your project a plan, a budget, and a time frame to succeed, with interim goals that must be met along the way. If at the end of the trial run you’re not close to being there, you may be better off pursuing other goals. Trying to chase blockbusters and miracles that just aren’t there can get very expensive—and hazardous for your career.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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