I would rather you bring me rubbish in a day than rubbish in a week.

There are lessons that I need to teach each time a new team member comes on board. Bad habits I need to help them unlearn  passed down from previous experiences. One of those is this desire to work in a silo and not show their progress until they think they’ve created the perfect solution.

This is done with the purest of intentions. They want to solve a problem. They want to produce art. They want to save the day. They don’t want to need help. They want to make the business better.

While the intentions are good, the logic is backwards and ends up having the absolute opposite effect than they intended.

As an owner, I have high standards and expectations, but I know that a new team member is not likely to be able to meet my standards, depending on the task, on the first try. Maybe not even on the fifth. We are learning about each other and how we work and that takes time.

If someone brings me rubbish after a week of working on something we both lose. They worked really hard to bring something they now think is gold. What they may have actually brought though is a gold-leafed piece of rubbish that we can’t ship, release, publish, or whatever else we would usually do. They get a laundry list of corrections and feel like they failed. The team is frustrated that they spent a week working on something we can’t use without major modifications.

A great team needs a rapid feedback loop. Instead of waiting for a week to show off what you think is the finished product, bring something in a day. A scope, a mock-up, a script. Something that paints a picture of the direction you are headed. It may sound harsh, but….

I would rather you bring me rubbish in a day than rubbish in a week.Click To Tweet

Catching problem A on Monday may avoid problems B, C, and D altogether. Course correction is always better sooner rather than later.

What lessons to you find yourself teaching new team members in your organization?