Deadlines force focus, can create superhuman results, can help people who have been dithering decide to act.
They are, in short, incredible opportunities.
Your leadership challenge is to see deadlines coming and plan for them appropriately, get the groundwork and underpinnings and infrastructure in place well in advance so that you can use them to your and your customers’ advantage.
So, for example, since you know deadlines are going to help you close a sale, you work backwards from the deadline, you have all your prep work in place, and then you make the deadline part of the pitch long before it arrives. This way you use the deadline to your and your client’s advantage, to help them move from good intention to action.
A good deadline is a terrible thing to waste.