Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Quick Initiative, Slow Follow-Through

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In my old job at Prcoter and Gamble, one of the characteristics they looked for beside things like communication, intepersonal and creative problem-solving skills, was called “Initiative and Follow Through”.

If you’ve collaborated with me on anything in the past year or so, you’ll know my initiative-taking is really quick, but my follow through is less consistent. I almost always follow through, but the speed varies, depending on a lot of things, like family life, actual paid work pressures, and the..er… Million or so other initiatives I am on.

I always have questions and ideas about writing things. If I get a research or article idea, I either write it (if single author), or blog about it (to invite others to join in) or discuss it with someone to develop it first. If it,s a single-authored thing I can honestly say if I am passionate enough I can get it done in somewhere between two hours and three days, depending on how much new research I need to do to finish it.

If it’s collaborative work, sometimes it has a sense of urgency, but other times it can get better by letting it stew, and sometimes I think it helps if I leave space for others to take the idea in different directions rather than lead. It may feel like abandonment (but I never lose complete touch with my collaborators – I keep going in to google docs, group DMs and stuff; just not taking leadership too much).

So yeah, sometimes I do it coz I am busy, but I really do think slow follow through on some things make them better, allows more people to catch up and reflect and come up with something even better and have more ownership.

What do you all think?

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