Passing The Baton

I read an interesting article in my July/August 2010 issue of FastCompany.com magazine titled “Blowing the Baton Pass“. The gist of the article was to create a metaphor of the top-notch skill of the US 2008 Olympic relay team’s botched passing of the baton and relating it to business. It is a great metaphor. The US relay team had, by all appearances, the best winning team in the world. Except one seemingly minor detail. Under pressure, they dropped the baton when passing from one to the other — causing a disqualification.

No matter how good you are, no matter how hard you work on a project, the hand-off must be perfect. Whether you are creating a web site for a client, enhancing the graphics for an IT team, building a script for another web developer, or even a task unrelated to web designing, plan out how you will pass the “baton” to the next person. Do not spend all your valuable time perfecting your work only to clumsily drop the finished product in their lap without some forethought. Much of my work now is done for others — hosting companies, graphic designers, marketing departments, other web developers, and such. I do not run my work across the finish line… I pass it to someone else so they can triumphantly run it to victory. If I don’t prepare myself and the one I’m passing it to, there may be a clumsy exchange leading to a lack of future work. Make sure that whether you are taking the baton from someone else, or passing it along, don’t forget that is an important aspect of your relay. Otherwise, the baton will be dropped and the client will assume the entire project was done in a similar fashion.

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