'I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.' So said author Douglas Adams - but what if there was a way of making deadlines work for you and using them to ensure others provide you with what you want when you want it?
In Christopher Cox's brilliant new book, he looks at the impact deadlines have on us, and how we can use them to deliver the best results for all parties. Social scientists have revealed that most negotiations run right up to the deadline before a deal is finally struck. What they also discovered was that this deadline effect usually results in a worse deal for both parties. Cox shows you how, instead, the deadline effect can be used to bring about success not failure.
The truth is that most of us think of deadlines all wrong. They aren’t immutable laws of nature; they are a game we can play - and win. This book will show you the strategies different workplaces have come up with to do just that. They are the businesses and individuals who are rehabilitating the deadline effect, taking the urgency it provides and jettisoning all the down-to-the-wire nonsense. Based on his own experience as a magazine commissioning editor, where coaxing writers to deliver on time is an art form, he also embeds himself in other businesses, such as a ski patrol ahead of the first day of the winter season, to see how they meet deadlines that cannot be missed.
Above all, this book is an argument to embrace the power of deadlines. When time is limited, people are less wasteful, more focused, productive and creative. It’s a liberating realisation: excellence and timeliness are not at odds, and the deadline effect can be highly effective.
Christopher Cox is a former editor of Harper's, executive editor of GQ, and senior editor of the Paris Review. Work that he has edited has won the Pulitzer Prize, the PEN Literary Award for Journalism and multiple National Magazine Awards. His own writing has appeared in GQ, Harper's, the Paris Review, Vogue and Slate. Cox is a graduate of Harvard, with a master's in history from Cambridge. A native of Atlanta, he now lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters.
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