The first time I heard the term ‘quick wins’ was years ago when I first moved to the UK. I remember it like it was yesterday…
My marketing director at the time kept insisting that we needed ‘quick winds.’
“Quick winds? Like a gust of wind? Passing wind? What does that even mean…?”
Turns out she was saying ‘win.’
I couldn’t understand her request – which is never a good position to be in when trying to achieve a win that is quick.
By definition, win means to be successful or victorious, to acquire or secure through contest, conflict, bet or other endeavour. And quick means moving fast or doing something in a short time, happening with little or no delay.
The reason why I dislike the idea of a quick win is simple.
To me, real success shouldn’t (by nature) happen quickly. The implication of speed makes me think that something is rushed or not well thought out. And linking the concepts of ‘success’ and ‘quick’ undermines the hard work, dedication and perseverance that is necessary to produce something so great that it wins the long-game.
More often than not the demand for quick wins comes from the desire to prove that progress is being made. But the time, effort and focus it takes to produce a quick win takes away from the greater goal.
In my mind, quick wins = short-term benefit at the cost of long-term gain.