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Do you tend to do things right the first time or act now and fix later?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from over 240,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

Do you tend to do things right the first time or act now and fix later?

  • I invest in doing it right the first time: 79%
  • I take action and fix as needed later: 21%

Understand the cost of fast action. While there are some situations that require fast more than they require correct, applying that mindset in other situations can cost you more than the time it saves. Think through why you’re rushing and if the rush will be worth it in the long term. Often it’s not. Invest the extra time in doing a task correctly on the first attempt rather than taking shortcuts. The “future you” will appreciate your rigor and attention to detail when there aren’t messes to be cleaned up later.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He’s the author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box” and “The Elegant Pitch.”