July 27, 2009 Jason

Are you quitting or giving up?

Are you ready to quit, or are you ready to give up?

They aren’t the same thing.

If you are giving up on something, you are acknowledging that you are not able to git ‘r done – that the task is bigger than you are.

If you quit something, it’s because that you have realized that you don’t have the right resources, time, or skills to complete the task effectively.

Giving up is immediate – “I tried my best” or “I just couldn’t do it” are the phrases that you normally hear.

“I have shown <insert peer/subordinate name here> where we are, and why I have to hand this off to him.  (S)he is fully trained and able to take over from where I left off” might be what you hear from someone that has strategically quit.

Quitting involves making arrangements for someone to complete what you have started, and being an active part of the hand-off to them.

Giving up demonstrates a lack of interest in what happens to the project that you are no longer doing.

Seth Godin writes about those that know the difference between the time to quit and the time to push through “the dip.”  To be successful, you need to know when to hold ‘em, and when to fold ‘em.  But if you do have to fold ‘em – make sure that someone else can still play what you have contributed to the pot.  Just because you cant make the cards work this hand doesn’t mean that they cant.  Why lose your ante when you can let someone else use it?

OK – bad poker analogies aside – plan your exit.

Don’t be afraid to say “I can’t do this right now” – but give someone else the chance.

You never know.  Maybe the next hand they might set you up.

-Jason

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