In the nine years I spent in the private/corporate sector I learned that deadlines are the best way to get shit done.
Corporate workers depend on deadlines. Your contribution is measured by them. Resources are allocated by them. Deadlines drive project management.
I mastered setting deadlines, but in my mastery. I overlooked how many times we missed, extended or ignored deadlines I set.
In my ignorance, I brought my deadline mastery to leading Copiosis. In my ignorance I missed how setting deadlines for Copiosis does little more than create internal stress for myself while increasing the risk that I might try to “lead” by trying to control and manipulate others’ emotions in order to get them to get shit done.
The stress of an approaching deadline turns people into a means to the end. People—lovable, contributing human beings—become cogs in the machine, “human resources” and “personnel”. For me, my ignorance produced little more than a deadline missed and an opportunity to apologize to myself and others for missing it.
Then I had an epiphany. I realized focusing on numbers—monthly visitors to the website, likes on Facebook, how many follow our tweets—made no difference compared to getting actual work done.
That’s when I realized I was leading a future-oriented organization using capitalist management methods originating from American slavery. That’s dumb.
It makes no sense to use status quo management methods to create something supposedly better than the status quo. Instead, later that year, I changed my approach, leaving deadlines behind in favor of focusing on fun. Back then, I wrote:
Our focus will primarily be about having fun and being positive. Having fun is attractive, it’s light, it is creative. Being positive opens new opportunities not available to pessimists, “realists” and those focusing on the way things are. Our effort will be purposeful, while remaining open to opportunity. We’ll celebrate every success large and small. We believe this will lead to more success without reinforcing what we’re replacing.
Since then (this post originally ran several years ago), we have a significant and growing team of high-credibility, well educated and qualified leaders all working together to create the future. We all have our areas of expertise and work stigmergically moving Copiosis forward.
No more deadlines. Instead, we rely on being light, having fun, and letting shit get done in ways that continue to amaze not only me but the entire team. These days, I’m even more dedicated to this approach, relying more on the Universe and my Inner Being to orchestrate resources, people and success I want to see. I set the intent, then let the Universe do its work.
This way I have more fun. And I think my team does too. The bonus: we get more done.