In most businesses, this is really what the boss or a client wants from us. Results.

I’m pretty sure that right at this very moment you have your nose at the grindstone and you are sincerely trying to achieve the results that are demanded by your boss or client.

These results may or may not even be realistically attainable. Whether or not it’s realistic, it may not be your choice to decide. You have to do your job and you have to do it now.

Get it done.

Oh, and it never ends. Perhaps your pressure cooker has just been dialed past “11” and you’ve just reached a new level of stress.

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Even if you have a sympathetic boss or client it’s all about results, period. No excuses.

Well what happens when you need results and for whatever reasons, it’s just not happening?

You might want to try the following:

1.  Communicate clearly the existing issues/challenges right away. If there is a problem or a challenge, address is it with your boss or client immediately and often. Communication is key. Speak openly and candidly with your boss or client about the issues at hand.  Be clear that you are not offering excuses just the facts in your efforts to achieve results.  In reality most bosses really do want to see their employees succeed. Perhaps your boss can share some advice with you that you had not even considered.   You may even find out that the proverbial fire that you are trying to put out no longer exists.

2.  Ask colleagues or mentors for help or advice. Put your pride aside and see if someone else has advice they can offer to assist you in accomplishing the task(s) at hand. Try asking advice from people in different industries doing completely different work then you are. They might have a different spin on things that in a million years you would not have thought of doing. Gather as much advice as you can and do it NOW. When receiving advice you just might be given a precious new idea that is completely transferable to the results that you are seeking.

3.  Understand the Pareto’s Principle “The 80-20 Rule.” The value of the Pareto Principle is that it reminds you to focus on the 20 percent that matters. Of the things you do during your day, only 20 percent really matter. Those 20 percent produce 80 percent of your results. Identify and focus on those things. When the fire drills of the day begin to sap your time, remind yourself of the 20 percent you need to focus on. If something in the schedule has to slip, if something isn’t going to get done, make sure it’s not part of that 20 percent. Don’t just “work smart”, work smart on the right things.

4.  Think as if your life depended on it. When you shift to a determined, creative mindset, you begin to discover solutions for challenges that (you may have previously convinced yourself) are beyond your control. If your life depended on it, would you come up with a new idea or strategy to save yourself? Absolutely.  Obviously, you are not in a life-or-death scenario, but many creative solutions come when you put everything on the line.  Take a risk and try something that is completely out of character for you. If you think that your life is on the line, you’ll do or try almost anything.

Lastly, if after you have exhausted all efforts and you are not able to provide the results that are needed by your employer then at least you know that you gave it your very best.

You can hold your head high with pride knowing that you did everything in your power to succeed. Let the chips fall where they may.

You never know.

Something good could come from your efforts. Perhaps you just might get a promotion out of your efforts. Or praise. Or more respect.

More importantly, you might find out something about your resourcefulness that you never even knew existed.


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Bernie Reifkind is the CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc. a nationwide executive search and placement firm.   In addition, Bernie provides career guidance and strategic interviewing techniques to professionals at all levels.

P: 1(800) 801-1400 or email at