In general, aggression is not a good idea. But I think aggression is the fundamental reason I have come some far in my life. I believe you need to be aggressive in your work. This has nothing to do with the proverbial rat-race. Of course, you need to be very aggressive to actually achieve something in the race as well. But that aggression possibly only gives you bad health and nothing much else.
I believe in being aggressive in my work. To the extent, this is the only topic that Noni has a problem with me. Noni believes is under-committing (she is PM, of course she believes that). I believe in slightly over committing. I believe that can give the correct amount of pressure to get something done. Lack of aggressive dead lines usually lead to complacent work environment. Of course, aggression should not be mistaken for stupid. If a work can be done in 2 weeks, committing 3 days is stupid, 1.5-2.5 weeks is aggressive, 5 weeks is complacent. Unfortunately for me, usually my aggressive deadlines make me look stupid because I overlooked something and am slogging extra hard to keep up. But that’s ok. Its my mistake and not stupid.
All big companies go with complacent. Because playing safe is a basic tenet for management. It also helps keep the engineers at their medium competence levels. This would lead to engineers losing their niche to faster and better juniors. And this also leads to disgruntled super stars who always seem to be job hopping. I am not a management guru, but I know exactly what I expect from my work environment.