WORKPLACE

Whose project is this anyway?

"Finally it occurred to me that there was something more I could do in my sleepless early-morning hours."

If the boss had asked me before commiting us to develop this ambitious new program in a year, I would have told him it was impossible. To create the only other program like it had taken a full three years and much more staff and resources than we had. But he hadn't asked, and I'd ended up with the responsibility of delivering this high-profile, controversial new program in an unrealistically short time.

I quickly developed a budget, hired people, reassigned existing staff, appointed advisory groups, and took the other steps necessary to get the project under way. But no matter how much progress I made, all that I still needed to accomplish haunted me. Night after night I woke up at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., worrying about all I had yet to complete and fearing the consequences if it didn't get done.

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September 18, 2000
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