It’s Not Hard to be Good

One of the software architects I work with made a comment the other day that reminded me of something I once said to my dad.

I was working for a large electrical contractor, managing the build-out of our new $6-million corporate headquarters. This was a huge job for a 25-year old, and I was working my butt off trying to keep up with the chaos that is a fast-track construction project.

About two weeks into the project I could already tell who was going to carry their weight and who was going to eat my time like a side order of potato salad. The electrical foreman, while not the most tactful guy, came through on almost all of his promises; when he said something would be done it was done. The architect, although a competent designer, needed two or three reminders before he would send a set of drawings.

After a particularly frustrating day I said to my dad, “It doesn’t take much to be good, you just have to do what you say you’re going to do.” He laughed hysterically, and to this day I smile at the simplicity of that statement.

Whether managing a construction project, developing software, or talking about a new product, just do what you say you’re going to do. If you can accomplish this, people will sing your praises in the hills.

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