Q: When we’re up against a crunch deadline, our CEO tries to bolster our confidence by giving us a T-shirt with “YGT” on it. It stands for “You Got This.” I don’t need to be told I can tackle a tough challenge. I do need better support—more resources, more time, more cooperation from the CEO. Can I rip up my shirt?
A: No, you cannot rip up your shirt. I don’t want that on my conscience. What you can do is level with the CEO about your concerns. Broach the topic in a constructive manner. Rather than focus on how useless the stupid shirt is, say, “Thanks for the shirt. You’re right. I got this. Can we discuss cost-effective ways I can get this even sooner, more completely and more efficiently?” Then propose sensible steps that will enable you to make progress quicker.