1/24/08

Instant Gratification


Via different avenues, God has been speaking a lot to me about this. So as my blood pressure and heart rate went up while watching Deal or No Deal I saw for the first time a 2008 Hyundai Sonata commercial that I had seen multiple times.

I couldn’t believe that an auto company would be telling people that they live in a world in which they can get or change anything they want to at anytime. It just seemed so contradictory to me, this the world in which you live…but go stimulate the economy and buy a new car from us! As leaders though, instant gratification can devastate any project, program, or person. Hey kids today’s letter of the alphabet is “P”…sorry I couldn’t help myself.

Moving right along, what is the opposite of instant gratification? Frankly it is one simple word…preplanning (and a bunch of kids cheered for “P”). By not preplanning or taking the time to think through all of the details of something we are frankly setting ourselves up for failure.

For me it’s been eating out. As a single guy it’s very easy, convenient and time-saving to just pick something up on the way home. But it’s much cheaper to take the time to cook one. This is just one example. The very nature of being a leader is that we are essentially project managers, and I’ve seen people lead projects well, and others poorly.

The difference is the time, energy, thought, and coordination that one places on completing the project. Because of their actions they are thus guaranteeing their success. Whereas where others have failed is through instant gratification, they consider a Band-Aid to be a great fix to an axe-wound. It reminds me of my old Jr. High Band teacher. Right above his podium, was a plaque that said, “A lack of planning on your part, does not necessitate an emergency for me.”

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