Fast. Cheap. Good.


Used to be that when you started a new job, you’d get training, advice, a “break-in” period of three, four, maybe even six months.

Not anymore. You’re expected to hit the ground running, and fast. Start producing. You’ll be expected to deliver something sooner than you might expect or have thought. So, remember this:Done is Better Than Perfect.”

Deliver. Something.

You’ll be afforded the opportunity to fix it and fix it you will. I’m not suggesting that you settle or lower your standards, but focus on what’s important to the company. Your new company may be a very agile and nimble organization. Speed may be more important than perfect. Get something out there and fix it later.

And remember Stephen Covey’s fifth habit of highly effective people when trying to determine where to focus your efforts. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Listen first and completely before responding. Listening may be the greatest skill you’ll use in your first weeks on the new job. This will help to focus so you can deliver.

I coached someone who started a new job. They were singularly focused on fast and needed to focus on best. They became successful when they focused on doing their best within the time parameters. As you figure out how and where to put in your best effort on the new job, remember this: Fast, Cheap, Good — pick any two. You can’t have all three.

Except pizza. Pizza is the only thing that is all

Needle in a Haystack

haystack I keep hearing this radio ad for a recruiting service that compares staffing to looking for a needle in a haystack. Y’know, with a rake and a really strong magnet, that really isn’t so hard. You want to know what’s hard? Looking for a needle in a sewing store. That’s the challenge in staffing today. Imagine going into a sewing store (if such a thing even exists today) and looking for a needle. But not just any needle, just the right needle. The exact one you want and need. That’s staffing today.

Because when you post that job looking for a needle, you’re not going get applications from a lot of hay. You’re going to get applications from a lot of needles. Needles of different lengths, different thicknesses,  and different degrees of pointy-ness. Needles for hand-sewing and needles for machines. The choices are endless. That’s staffing today. You’re going to get hundreds of applicants, all needles. Unless you’ve taken the time before you posted that job to clearly define exactly what you need, you’ve just made your job a whole lot tougher.

Too many people complain about the difficulty in finding the right candidates. Especially now when the unemployment rate is low. Doing the hard job of defining your needs before you post that job is the key to cutting through all that hay to find the needle. Or marching into a sewing store and picking up just the right needle from all the ones inside.

Cause finding a needle in a haystack really isn’t that hard. See if you can find this one.

Needle haystack