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Questions

1:In keeping your inbox to manageable proportions, which of the following is the best strategy?
  1. Clear it every day.

  2. Let it pile up. The important things will always float to the surface somehow, so once a month throw it all in the garbage.

  3. Go through it every day, deal only with those things that align with your priorities, and once a month throw it all in the garbage.

  4. Go through it every day, deal only with those things that align with your priorities, and once a week deal with all of the other stuff.

A1: (a) 0 points

I dithered on whether to give you a point here, but I think this is a bad idea. You'll spend too much valuable time dealing with trivia.

(b) 1 point

You get a well-deserved point here. I love your bravado, your self-confidence, your devil-may-care attitude, and your daring. However, sooner or later you'll get yourself into trouble doing things like this (even if your inbox is always empty).

(c) 5 points

This is my favorite. Get the important things done, and consign the rest to the garbage where it truly belongs.

(d) 4 points

You get most of the points for this, but I still think the previous answer is better.

2:You're planning a project. Your business is high-tech (i.e., it's not construction or manufacturing or something like that). The conventional wisdom has it that you can only plan in great detail for the next phase of the project and after that it's all pretty much guesswork. With regard to this statement, do you:
  1. Agree?

  2. Disagree?

  3. Not see how it can be any other way?

  4. Possibly disagree, but feel that the effort involved in building lots of detail would—by orders of magnitude—outweigh the benefit?

A2: (a) 0 points

It might be the conventional wisdom, but I can tell you from experience, it isn't right.

(b) 5 points

Yup.

(c) 0 points

Read this chapter to see another way.

(d) 0 points

Nope—read this chapter.

3:You must write a report and deliver it to a client. Your boss must write a key part of the report. It's only a page, but she's notorious for procrastinating on such things. What do you do?
  1. Wait until she delivers and tell the customer that she's to blame (“It's been on my boss's desk for weeks now”).

  2. Write it yourself and send it out without telling her.

  3. Write a fill-in-the-blanks version. Then talk your boss through it, fill in the blanks, and send it out.

  4. Send the report out minus your boss's bit.

A3: (a) 0 points

I don't think so.

(b) 3 points

But this depends a lot on the sensitivity or otherwise of the report. Take 5 points here if you and your boss understand each other perfectly.

(c) 5 points

Why not? Your boss will love you for it, the customer's happy, and there's very little risk.

(d) 3 points

Same answer as (b).


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