Of course I mean at work.
In case you’re still not with me – of course I mean on work projects at work.
I’m not talking about lying on a resume, or anything truly unethical. I am talking about faking your way through a project, or committing to a goal that is clearly unachievable.
After all, it was the only real choice you had at the time. Expectations were high. So, you agreed – secretly hoping that the project would get killed, or that your bosses would forget about it, or that something more important would come up that you would be re-assigned to.
Or maybe your boss asked you – in front of the big bosses – if something was possible. You have no idea whether or not it’s possible, so naturally you say, “Sure, we can do that,” and then scramble to figure out a way to make it happen.
I got pretty good at faking my way through projects. It wasn’t my preference – I liked to be able to see the end before I started – but it became important to have this skill. So, I would assemble a team, I’d give them assignments, I would sound confident (confidence is key to faking it), and I would make believe I knew what I was doing – hoping that at some point it would all make sense. Surprisingly, it usually did!
I later found out there was a name for this management style. I came across a question on a test for a management refresher course that asked which of four answers was not a valid management style. I was certain that “muddling through” had to be the correct answer – that couldn’t possibly be a valid style, could it? Turns out it was.
I felt vindicated.
Now it’s your turn. Fess up… have you ever faked it?