||Attempt to make contact See
if you can reach your manager by fax, phone or e-mail.
Go to sufficient lengths to get in touch and you may be
able to solve the problem simply.
||Do some surveillance work
Try to collect as much information as you can to make
the decision your manager would. Talk to your colleagues
as well as those of your manager to get a breadth of opinions.
||Take action If your company's
bottom line is hemorrhaging, you need to make the decision.
So make one. But make sure you've done the previous two
steps to the best of your ability, as well as step four
||Cover yourself Make sure you're
able to defend your position. This shouldn't be difficult
if you've thought things through. Be prepared to substantiate
two things: why you made the decision you did, and why
you felt you had to act at the time.
The Ticking Time Bomb
Scenario: You've been given an assignment with
an impossible deadline. There's no way you can deliver
with the resources you've been given, yet you know that
the deadline is mission critical. What do you do?
||Recruit other agents
Try to get additional resources applied to the
project. If you can't do this officially, see if you can
appeal to your colleagues' goodwill. If you promise something,
make sure you deliver and expect to return the
||Switch briefcases when no
one's looking If you can't change the deadline,
see if you can change the deliverables. Can you narrow
the focus of what you're doing to make your deadline?
Which pieces are critical by the date, and which could
come in just days later? What about eliminating some of
the deliverables overall? Can your presentation double
as the executive summary to your report, or do you have
to create all three pieces?
||Look out, she's gonna blow!
– If you know that the above options aren't available
to you, the secret microfilm sidebar contains your next
M:I-3 The Name of the Agent
Scenario: Maybe your boss is too busy, maybe he's a
genius whose goals are hazy. Regardless of the reason,
you've been handed a plum assignment that's riddled with
ambiguity. The scope of the project is lacking definition,
but the situation makes you too uncomfortable to ask for
more detail. What do you do?
||Put out some bugs and taps
Do some internal digging to see if you can figure
out why the project came about.
Ask a few "in the know" types why they think
this assignment is necessary. What is the history? Are
there any future plans that might be related? Whatever
you do, proceed with caution on this piece of the mission.
You're trying to uncover information, not stir up dirt.
||Use your global positioning
system Take a step back and use the information
you've gathered to look at the bigger picture. Knowing
what you do about the company, is there an angle that
makes sense to you on this project? Set your objectives
using this information.
||Check in with the chief
Now that you've identified the objectives you think
make sense, it's time to check in with your manager to
make sure you're on the right track. Take a deep breath
and present your ideas with confidence and one of two
things will happen
you'll be right, or you'll get
more information. Best of luck!