It seems that every business post, book or article that you read these days emphasizes the importance of having a solid, realistic and thoughtful plan in place before moving forward with any business idea, project or initiative. Without a plan, you can easily lose focus, gain problems and attract failure. In your personal or professional lives, are you or do you know someone who is passionate about planning and organizing, who eagerly and enthusiastically builds focused, detailed and thoughtful plans abundant with goals, objectives, tasks and timelines yet when it comes time to take action, there always seems to be more work to be done to the plan before it can be implemented? This “tweaking” seems to take an inordinate amount of time and, before you know it, someone is asking if it is still worthwhile to go forward with the idea, project or initiative. It is like the individual who decides to renovate a room, plans the renovation and gets to the point of preparing the room for its new look and some weeks, months or years later the room remains in its current state of “preparation”.
Yes, you need to have a plan. However, is planning passion resulting in action avoidance in your personal or professional lives? Are you wasting time making small adjustments to a perfectly plausible plan to avoid the obvious next step which is taking action? Action avoidance may come from a fear of the unknown or a discomfort with not knowing or having control of the result. It may also be a reluctance to assume the responsibility and accountability of taking action. Finally, taking action requires clarity, courage, confidence and commitment. It also means having the time, energy and enthusiasm to take the action.
I greatly admire people who specialize in doing the necessary planning to make a lifelong dream into a growing reality, a simple idea into a profitable innovation, a small start up into a business powerhouse, a crude drawing into a comfortable home or a landmark building. In business, it is important to ensure that you attract people who want to work hard, who want to do what they love and what they do best. Let the planners be passionate about the planning and, once the plan is completed, get others who love to take action to make the idea, project or initiative happen.
Too often, businesses with too few resources make the mistake of putting planners into the action role and the action types into the planning role and then wonder why nothing is getting done, or, if it is getting done, why it is taking so long and producing such poor results. In the end, you will only do what you love, what you are excellent at doing, what brings out the best in you and what ignites the most energy and enthusiasm. Have you ever noticed that you will always do what you love first and what you hate last? In fact, you often don‘t get what you hate done as you continue to procrastinate hoping that no one will ask you if it has been completed. If you find planning boring and tedious then say so. If you are loath to take action and are passionate about planning then say so. Businesses rely on their bench strength to be successful in the short term and for the long term.
So if you are a business owner or leader, make sure that you have the best people doing the planning and taking action. While it is also important to develop people by moving them out of their comfort zones and into new challenges, have the planners shadow the action people and the action people shadow the planners and at the end of the day, find the best fit for all concerned. With the right people in place, every idea, project and initiative will be successful and planning passion will result in action abundance rather than action avoidance.