The Eternal Question: Is it Better to Beg Forgiveness, or Ask Permission?

The Eternal Question: Is it Better to Beg Forgiveness, or Ask Permission? by Laura Stack #productivity

You’ve probably heard Grace Hopper's famous axiom, "It's better to beg forgiveness than ask permission." As a child, my father used to tell me that all the time! As a pioneering computer scientist and one of the first female admirals in the U.S. Navy, "Amazing Grace" surely learned the value of begging forgiveness rather than asking permission during her long, storied career. Indeed, Hopper's Law seems to make a lot of sense in many real-world situations. But is it applicable to the workplace? The answer, as with so many other business questions, is, “It depends.” There are reasonable arguments for both sides of the equation, depending on the circumstances. For example, if you're an IT tech, you definitely want to ask permission before changing or upgrading the operating system of an imp … [Read more...]

Accept the Credit When It’s Due—and the Blame, Too

Accept the Credit When It’s Due—and the Blame, Too. Moving from the “Employee” to the “Employer” Mindset by Laura Stack #productivity

Accept the Credit When It’s Due—and the Blame, Too. Moving from the “Employee” to the “Employer” Mindset Accountable people follow through on their promises, and they don’t blame others if unforeseen circumstances trip them up. They honor Harry S. Truman's favorite expression: "The buck stops here." To what extent do you refuse to blame other people or external factors when things don’t go right? Accepting personal responsibility is challenging, even for otherwise competent professionals. Case in point: before every speaking engagement, I send my client a ten-question email survey to forward to 15-20 random audience members (the responses help me tailor my comments to the group and make sure I'm addressing the correct issues). One of the questions is, "What is the number one thing you w … [Read more...]