You pledge as a team to work together to collect the data, test the idea, and prepare it for a full presentation to the top brass—as soon as all the details have been worked out. You're working diligently on the project when your Terrible Office Tyrant (TOT) drops by with a surprise guest: the CEO of the company.
"I wanted to show the big guy what everyone's working on these days," your TOT blurts out. Luckily, you've just minimized the Project Scentamint logo on your screen in order to keep your project secret. You look to your manager and exchange what you think to be a knowing wink. You believe that your collective secret will hold ... which is true, for about the next five seconds.
Your manager pauses and then begins to speak. "We're hatching a great new idea! It's really exciting. Have a seat. You're gonna love this one! Show him that awesome logo!" Within seconds, he blurts out the entire story and weeks of under-the-radar preparations for Scentamint have dissipated into thin air.
What just happened? It's a classic case of impulsive TOT behavior. Toddlers will often pledge to behave, and then in a heartbeat, do the very thing they promised not to do. Although it seems unfair or shocking, an impulsive gesture is often not born from malice or forethought. It's simply the idea that popped into their heads at the moment, and so they ...