Project Management

9 Reasons to Stop Telling People How Busy You Are

Lonnie Pacelli is an Accenture/Microsoft veteran with four decades of learnings under his belt. He frequently writes and speaks on leadership, project management, work/life balance, and disability inclusion. Reach him at [email protected] and see more at

Years back, I hired a person I’ll call Del who came highly regarded with a strong resume. Del went through an interview loop that included one of my peer directors. I got my peer’s feedback—along with a “no hire” recommendation. After talking with my peer, I decided to hire Del anyway.

Del made an almost immediate positive impact with the client organization he serviced. Shortly thereafter, though, I started hearing rumblings from Del’s peers within my organization about how he constantly said how busy he was and that he should not have to do some of the things his peers were expected to do. Worse still, Del claimed that he should have special treatment because he was more experienced than his peers.

Needless to say, this did not sit well at all with the rest of my organization. Del was very competent in his skills, but the negative impact he had on the rest of the team far outweighed the benefit he provided. I thought back to the discussion with my peer and her no-hire recommendation. She warned me that Del might be disruptive to my organization, which was the basis for her recommendation. The bottom line was that I should have listened to my peer and not hired Del. It wasn’t worth the upheaval in my org.

Being busy in today’s world is by far the norm more than the exception. Work coupled with personal demands generally …

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"He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot, but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot."

- Groucho Marx