Reflections on Life Hacks and the Ethics of Implementation

An interesting David Brooks column appeared in the NY Times on Friday, June 3, 2022 entitled, “The World’s Greatest Life Hacks, For Now.”

Two of the life hacks caught my attention:

  • “When you have 90 percent of a large project completed, finishing up the final details will take another 90 percent.”
  • “Just because it’s not your fault doesn’t mean it’s not your responsibility.”

Those life hacks reminded me of what I wrote in an article for Trusts & Estates several years ago entitled, “Beyond Competence: The Ethics of Implementation.”

  • “What is the answer?  It is a change of attitude, a paradigm shift.  It is moving away from the notion that responsibility for and commitment to the client can be divided, i.e., if there are four advisors working for the client, then each is 25 percent responsible.  No that’s not good enough.  Each of us is 100 percent responsible for our client and the proper implementation of the plan.  None of the advisors should sleep at night until it is clear that all of the i’s have been dotted and all of the t’s have been crossed.  When flawless implementation has been achieved, that is when the client has been served and we, the advisors, ‘prove’ our care and concern.”
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