That one thing: a deadline. And it needs one now.
Right now I’m probably sounding a lot like a ‘Seagull Manager’ you might have dealt with in the past. The detached, high-level executive, usually nowhere to be seen, who will storm into a room full of hard-working team members unannounced, raise alarms (off the back of very little knowledge) and provide criticism without much real insight… all before making a dramatic exit in a frantic manner. Or as the pioneer who first observed this phenomenon, Ken Blanchard, more elegantly puts it in his book, The One Minute Manager:
“Seagull managers fly in, make a lot of noise, dump on everyone, and then fly out.”
No – my advice, to you, to place a deadline on your project: comes not from an attempt to meet a senior manager’s angered demand, but rather from a place of having previously crafted creative fulfilment.