YOUR BEST WORK FORWARD
  • Providing outcomes that represent the best efforts for the task at hand
  • Going the extra mile to deliver completed assignments to co-workers and customers
  • Refusing to be satisfied with incomplete or inferior work

HARRINGTON COMMENTARY

We should always strive to deliver the best we have to give to an assignment. Whether we like it or not, our work is a reflection of who we are, both individually and as a team. This is as true for a “draft work in progress” as it is for a “final product”. Others will form their opinions, set their expectations, and evaluate the level of trust they place in us based on what we deliver them.

Early in my career at Funds For Learning, I incorrectly considered the word draft to mean the same thing as “working version”, “in-process”, or “partially complete”. I delivered a sloppy report to a customer. It was not finished. It was not properly formatted. Certain sections had incomplete sentences. It was a mess. The client was not happy, and I was embarrassed. In response, I thought to myself “yes, Mr. Client, it’s not done; but, you told me to send you what I had.” Big mistake. The client couldn’t evaluate my draft work, because it wasn’t done yet. I learned the hard way that whenever I provide a form, report, memo, presentation, or anything else to someone, it should represent my best, most complete effort.

By putting our best work forward:

  • We value the time and energy of those receiving our work.
  • We help others evaluate and provide feedback on our work. (It’s nearly impossible to evaluate incomplete work.)
  • We increase others’ confidence that they can trust us to stick with a task and see it through to the end.
  • We mitigate the risk of having to correct our work after it’s been delivered to our co-worker or client.
  • We make it easier to repurpose our work in the future. In other words, my hard work today can (and will) impact the quality of my future work. Doing my best now improves my work and the work of others at a later date. (I have seen positive and negative examples of draft work being plagiarized later. In some case, that’s great. However, if the original work wasn’t so hot, then the fact that it’s being reused later just adds insult to injury; however, if I do good work the first time, then I don’t have to worry about it slipping in later – I’ll be glad to see it reused.)

All of our work is a representation of us. Everything we do should be done as if it were being done for our most important client.

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Key Words and Phrases

Excellence; Greatest degree of good; Maximum effort; Highest quality service; Do your best; Top performance; Finest; Complete, lacking in nothing.

Opposite Terms

Lacking; Incomplete; Unprepared; Shoddy.

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