I’ve heard the phrase “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” a lot throughout my professional life.
A snappy little quip, I’ve mostly heard it spouted from salesman — though it’s utilized by anyone in the name of justification to pursue their own motivations at the cost of others’ time/effort/money/sanity — who like to picture themselves as big earners who buck the system for big wins. They often fancy themselves mavericks or rogues who get the job done by breaking the chains that hold others back.
But don’t get it twisted. This phrase — which is also the credo of serial brown nosers, inconsiderate glory hounds and shameless buck-passers — is actually douchebag shorthand for, “I’m just gonna go ahead and be a total fucking asshole, make a move against a plan, protocol, policy or technical limitation, and fuck over everyone down the line from me by doing or selling something that creates tons of extra work for others and goes against the best interests of the product, company and my coworkers, just so I can get a little bump in my commission check. Then I’ll play dumb when I’m called on it, paste on smug shiteating grin, and ask for forgiveness.”
Anyone who spouts this drivel as a legitimate argument in a decision making process should be held in the highest contempt, ignored and avoided as much as possible. Even if it may serve your short term interests to go along with them on occasion, don’t forget, these are the kinds of people who will unhesitatingly fuck you over at the first opportunity.
Then they’ll ask for forgiveness.