The Difference Between Planners and Doers - Living Room Cincinnati
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The Difference Between Planners and Doers

In the spirit of the New Year, everyone is talking about planning for the future (including us). But let’s not forget the simple fact that plans without action amount to nothing. It’s a brutal revelation but imperative that it stay top of mind. So in 2017, let’s not just be a bunch of planners. Let’s be doers.

We’re taking a few tips from one of our favorite authors, Chris McChesney, and his book, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, to find the difference between planners and doers.

1. Doers understand the need to say no to good ideas.
“There will always be more good ideas than there is capacity to execute.” In other words, just because you have a lot of good ideas, doesn’t mean you need to act on all of them. Having too many objectives to tackle at once can be debilitating. Crippling even. Teams get lost in where to begin, leading to a stagnant team with lofty goals and no outcomes. Instead, look at all of the possibilities and choose one or two. Don’t feel like you have to abandon the other suggestions, just file them away for later. The worst thing you can do is leave a meeting with high aspirations and no priorities.

2. Doers look for the simplest route.
“What are the fewest number of battles necessary to win the war?” McChesney preaches against over complicating your goals. His point is to focus on one thing outside of your everyday sustainment and do it in the fewest steps possible. Sometimes our objectives are followed by an endless list of tactics, to-dos, and sub-goals. The key is to aim for a target with the least amount of action steps to complete. This way you’re keeping things simple and ensuring your team executes on the task.

3. Doers create deadlines.
“From X to Y by when. You have to move your goal from a concept to a target.” Planning for the future is completely abstract until you set deadlines. Only then will you be able to count on any results. Counterintuitive, sure, but we often forget that every aspiration needs a hard deadline or else it will get lost in the everyday hustle while we all play catch up.

Let’s make 2017 the year for doing, not just planning. Prioritize your goals by saying no to ideas that have to wait. Eliminate unnecessary steps and find the simplest way to complete your task. Set a hard date for completion so your team will see results when that day rolls around.

Plan first and then do.

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