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Last Issue's Dilemma:
I can't seem to catch a break
Arrrgh! I just came back from vacation, and everything I asked other people to
handle in my absence is still sitting on my desk -- undone. Not only am I going
to spend several hours catching up, but the printer is now going to charge me an
expedite fee to get my brochures done in time for our next tradeshow. I shudder
to think what will happen -- or not -- next month when I take off a week for my
son's wedding in Hawaii.
How do I get these people to pitch in when I need them? Use logic? Bribery?
-- Edie, Events Manager
Then again, while the cat's away …
The Challenge: How to achieve overwhelming brand presence and dominance at the CES.
The Solution: WOW!
How Samsung stole the show ...
Edie, being on vacation should be pleasurable and stress-free. But often
it's not, since you find yourself worrying whether people will do what
they've promised -- and how much work will be waiting for you when you get back
to the office.
However, you can put the fun back into your away time if you follow
our readers' suggestions:
- Plan ahead
- Frame your requests a different way
- Do it yourself
You do your job everyday, so you understand the processes and the importance
of your deadlines. But your coworkers don't. By putting together a game plan --
far in advance of your departure -- you can make sure everyone knows how to do
what you've asked and gets his or her assignments done on time.
An anonymous reader believes some simple steps can help.
"Determine exactly who should do what, and send the group a detailed email so
everyone is aware of the deadlines, must-dos and what he or she is responsible
Tim Sayre, COO of BriarLane, provides a detailed process you can
"First off, never let work sit on your desk. Before you leave, send an email
asking everyone to help you with a particular part of a project/assignment.
Then, go and visit each person individually with the required materials,
contacts, production schedules, phone numbers and email you sent previously,
printed out in a folder with a must-be-done-by date on it. Go over what needs to
be done, include a complete list of step-by-step instructions in the folder,
make sure the person understands the task at hand, and be prepared to answer any
questions he or she might have.
"Two days before you leave, follow up with a quick phone call, and ask
each person if he or she has any last-minute questions about what you dropped
off. Remind everyone that their tasks are critical to the overall success of
whatever it is your company is trying to achieve.
"Now for the most important part: When you get back, give those who did
everything -- and did it correctly -- praise, praise, praise. And make your
praise public, so everyone knows what a great job they did and how much the
company/higher-ups appreciate their efforts. Praise is highly underrated by many
and highly desired by most, so don't forget to give it whenever someone helps
you out while you're gone."
Frame your requests a different way
Maybe you've had problems in the past getting people to help you out because
of the way you've asked them to do something.
Linda Toomey, marketing manager at Melange, a Planet Bingo company,
offers the key to a different kind of approach.
"Asking someone to do something in your absence is a favor for them, too.
Delegating a task to someone shows you trust that person with responsibility. So
let the person know you're giving him or her a chance to shine -- and you'll
tell the higher-ups about what he or she accomplishes in your absence."
Do it yourself
There's a reason why expressions like "If you want something done right, do
it yourself" have been around for so long -- they're true. While in the ideal
world people would volunteer to help each other out, the reality is most people
are too busy with their own jobs to take on part of someone else's.
As Dawn Studniarz, marketing and events manager with Formtek Group,
"Plan further ahead so you don't have to depend on someone else. Remember, it
always falls back on you if something doesn't get done. If you know you'll be
gone, push your deadlines up so you complete everything before your vacation
and/or maternity leave. It makes for a much better return and less worry while
Edie, you deserve to have a good time at your son's wedding. Since you have
the time, plan ahead, emphasize the benefits for those who help out and, if all
else fails, find a way to get everything done before you leave.