Good Intentions != Good Results

Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash

Good Intentions != Good Results

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

One of my friends told me a story about how one of the first managers in IT career was a workaholic. The manager was newly promoted and would stay up all night as evidenced by a number of emails throughout the day and well into late night. His team (including my friend) also started following suit and would work late nights just to impress their manager.

Slowly this desire to impress the manager grew into resentment as almost everyone started feeling burnt out by working late every night and slowly everyone started asking for a transfer out of the team.

The manager called an all-hands meeting and asked them their concerns as to why everyone was asking for a release from the project. When they told him that they couldn't keep up with working late nights everyday, the manager told them working late was never an expectation from the team. And if they wanted, they could just work regular hours unless there was an emergency. He also told them that he was used to working late hours and didn't realise that he was setting an unspoken expectation with his behaviour. His actual intention was to make sure that his team faced no blockers in delivery.

This is an example of how something done with a good intention led to bad unintended results because he didn't measure the impact of how he had implemented his intentions. This is why you should always focus on not just your intentions but it's impact on yourself and others.

P.S: Regarding sending out late emails, my colleague Vijay Raghavan Aravamudhan has this excellent line attached to his signature in all of his emails.

"My working hours may not be your working hours. Please do not feel obligated to reply outside of your normal work schedule and vice versa. "

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