Are you a Scotty or a Geordi?

-August 17, 2012

In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Relics (Season 6, episode 4), there's a classic conversation between Mr. Scott (engineer from the original series) and Geordi LaForge (engineer from the Next Generation). If you've ever been involved in an engineering project, you've been there. It goes something like this

LaForge: I'll have it done in an hour.
Scott: How long will it really take you?
LaForge: About an hour
Scott: No lad, never tell them what they want, tell them what they need. If you tell them what they want, you'll never be seen as a miracle worker.
LaForge: I have a job to do, and you're in the way.

Do you tell management that tasks will take longer to complete than you expect? There are advantages. If it takes longer than you expect, but less time that you said, you're a miracle worker. If it takes as long as you said, you've met expectations.

If you tell management how long you really expect a task to take and you meet it, you've met expectations. If it takes longer, you've let someone down and you're seen as being late.

Are you a Scotty or a Geordi?

See the video here.

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