Overcommitment leads to Failure

Tue, Apr 27, 2021 2-minute read

Overcommitment leads to Failure

Many of us want to be the superhero or go-to person. We have to be clear on which one we want to be.

The superhero is someone who overcommits by saying “yes” to everything. They are juggling more tasks, requests, and deadlines, than possible, resulting in long hours and work on weekends.

The superhero at work isn’t the person we want to be, nor do we want to encourage people to be superheroes. These people take on more and more work, until their personal lives, emotional states, and work suffer.

Tasks will fall out of the juggling and be forgotten about. Deadlines will slip by, causing more work. Work will be subpar or incorrect, causing the rework.

The superhero eventually becomes the bottleneck and a source of problems.

When we see people being superheroes or unintentionally positioning themselves as a superhero, we want to take time to coach them on how to say no, and take time to align them with the current goals of the team and company.

We can’t do everything for everyone. Saying “yes” may make people happy right then; failing to deliver or having to back out of the agreement later is what people will remember.

Take time to understand the request. Do the due diligence to see if the request makes sense and is aligned with the current goals.