Deadlines rule

Deadlines rule my professional life. If we editors don’t get our magazines to the printer by deadline, we pay financial penalties, potentially higher shipping fees, and we might lose our slot on the presses and get delayed several days, which means you get your magazine late.

Deadlines also rule remodelers’ lives. If the concrete guy misses his deadline, or the windows arrive late, the domino effect of schedule changes this would create can be enough to give a project manager a heart attack. Profit could suffer and clients would get upset, which never is a good combination.

Deadlines make it easy to hold people accountable, and can help when trying to judge a person’s performance. It’s pretty simple, actually; Did so-and-so meet the deadline? The answer is either yes or no.

Let’s apply this performance test to Congress. Did Congress meet the deadline to solve the fiscal cliff crisis? No. It was a day late, and by many economists’ judgment, a dollar short, too. It temporarily solved problems, but left many significant issues such as mortgage interest deductions and the nation’s debt ceiling on the table.

Members of Congress had months to work out all the details, yet they failed. We can speculate about the reasons for their failure, but that will get us nowhere. The bottom line is, their actions – or inactions – spoke loudly to me, and what I heard bothers me. If they can’t come together more quickly and definitively than they did when drafting H.R. 8 – to remove America further away from sinking back into the worst recession in history – then I’m a little worried about our fragile economic recovery.

Thankfully, I’m an optimistic guy, as are remodelers, which our senior editor Ken Betz so clearly explains in his 2013 market forecast article in the January issue of Qualified Remodeler. I believe an optimistic attitude has true power, is contagious and can help people achieve greatness. According to the results of our market forecast survey, you do, too. Keep your eyes open for Ken’s article when the January issue hits your desk, and take a look at what your peers are thinking about 2013. You'll like what you hear.

We'll keep meeting our editorial deadlines, and if you keep meeting yours, the optimism will spread.

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