“Whatever it takes”

How often have you heard that one? “Whatever it takes”.

It’s an iceberg. Steer clear.

What starts out as an innocent turn of words, is actually a veiled attack on reasonable expectations. And when expectations aren’t reasonable, all bets are off. And when all bets are off, you’re usually the loser.

Whatever it takes means you’ll probably be working at 10pm on Wednesday.

Whatever it takes means whenever I need you you better be available.

Whatever it takes means sloppy work in service of just delivering something.

Whatever it takes means the absence of no, and once no’s out the door you’ve given up one of the most powerful tools you have.

Whatever it takes means if you won’t do it, I’ll find someone else who will [endure the abuse].

Whatever it takes is a threat to your friends and family time.

Whatever it takes is doing something “at all costs”. When you stop discussing costs you’re in deep.

Whatever it takes is a slippery slope.

Whatever it takes is the opposite of calm, paced, and fair.

Certainly there are exceptions, but whatever it takes is rarely as nice as it sounds. Be leery, be weary, be aware. Remember what’s behind the veil.


“Whatever it takes” was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


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