In some cases, the approach I described in the last chapter to outline the choices between okay, good, and great and to share the problem of choosing the investment level does not work. You've articulated the choices and investment levels, and then the powers that be say, “You are not getting the funding, but do the whole thing anyway.”
In your heart you know it can't be done, but they are being unwaveringly insistent; and you are afraid that you will get fired if you tell the truth and say, “This can't be done without additional resources.”
There is a little bit of a slippery slope here because executives do look for leaders who can do things that others say are impossible—leaders that can do great things without demanding more resources all the time. The best business leaders (at every level) do not rely on getting more money every year to do new things. It's great if you can get new money, but if you can't, that doesn't mean you can't do new things.
What I'm talking about is not just piling more work on your team. It means conducting your business in such a way that you choose to stop doing some things each year, and that you find ways to get the same stuff done for less cost next year. You should always be looking for ways to increase your efficiency and reduce your expenses, so that you can re-invest the savings in where the business ...