Every action, or inaction, is like dropping a rock into a placid pond. The affect of your decision causes a ripple effect that spreads out and affects others. ~ ME
Whatever you do, especially in the business and academics worlds, causes other actions to be necessary. Example: I was on a six person team at the university which was supposed to do a project. Each person had to prepare a fact sheet on one of six different aspects of that project and then come together to write a report. Once the report was written, we had to give an oral presentation of that report.
We were given eight weeks to complete the project. The first person was to decide which six aspects we would cover and notify the rest of the team so each member could choose the aspect that best fit his/her strengths. The team leader was then supposed to advise the professor of the six aspects and the person addressing each aspect. At three weeks from the end, the team was supposed to work together to write the report. Once the report was written, all we had to do at a week before the presentation is understand the key points we would talk about and the order of presenting. Had everyone done their job in a timely manner, there would not have been a problem.
I kept hounding team member #2 for the six aspects starting at six weeks out. His response was always that he would email the aspects to everyone that day, to which he never did. When I asked the team lead, he was unconcerned and said he would get #2 to email them, again this was not done. Finally, two weeks out, the professor gave us a class to finalize the project, which we had not even started due to indifference or procrastination. That same class, neither the team lead or #2 showed up. Both had plans for that week which did not include the project. #2 did email the list of topics out to the other team members that day though.
#3 finished his fact sheet in two days and emailed everyone a copy. #4 (myself) emailed my fact sheet the same day as #3. #5 finished and emailed his two days after that. With four days left, #6 emailed his sheet. The day before the final presentation at noon, the team lead finally emailed his fact sheet. This left #2 approximately 22 hours left to put together the paper and have everyone check it over; and prepare for the presentation.
#2 finished the final paper approximately 10 minutes before that final class where we had to present. No one else got to see the report or critique it. When we were finished presenting, I did not have a good feeling about it. I kept telling myself that I should have just taken over and ensured it was done for the good of the team members who were actually trying to do the job. However, I had intentionally stepped back and put someone else in the driver’s seat when the team was formed to give a younger person the chance to succeed. I mean there is a 40 year difference between myself and the other team members
Afterwards, we had to critique each other. Had this been a real life experience rather than an academic one, I would have raked the team lead and #2 over the coals at a minimum, or fired them at the other end of the spectrum. However, I chose to let moderation control my critique. Those who had not held the team up (myself, #3, #5, #6), I rated as an 8 on a 10 point scale because anyone of us could have taken control of the situation and resolved the issue, but did not. The team lead and #2 I gave 6 out of 10 points because on a couple other smaller projects, they had participated in a timely manner. As a team, each one of us received a poor grade because the paper was written so badly.
Then, I learned that some of the team members considered me brash and stepped on other’s toes because on another project, when making the power point presentation I had corrected errors in their slides.
Would this have been acceptable in the business world?
Is this acceptable in the academic world?
What would you have done?