Personally, planning falls between having my teeth drilled and car trouble. Life is too short to spend it planning. When I think back on leadership meetings I’ve attended or led, there was abundant talking and planning but scarce action. Many of the things discussed sounded great but never happened.
The problem isn’t planning.
The problem is we aren’t planning to act. Pages of graphs, colorful organizational charts, and clear cut descriptions and objectives don’t DO anything.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney
Leaders move from ineffective plans to effective action with five simple words.
Who does what by when?
Making plans makes us feel like we’re actually doing something. Sitting in meetings and discussing plans gives the sense of getting something done but nothing could be further from the truth.
NOTHING happens in meetings!
EVERYTHING happens after meetings.
The only plan that matters is the plan that’s put into action. Everything else is a colossal waste of time. Start asking, “Who does what by when?” Until we have clear cut answers to that question, everything is smoke and mirrors inflating pride but destroying progress.
Leaders reach higher with a five word question.