A Look Under the Hood of What Drives Great Doers

Everyone has an idea of how to achieve success. Doers think it’s about getting things done. Dreamers think it’s about dreaming big dreams. Both are wrong.


The better you are at getting things done, the worse you are at dreaming.

Suppose your ratio of Doer to Dreamer is 80/20. You can’t dream your way out of a wet paper bag, but you sure can get things done. In most organizations, you’re successful.

Doers get stuck in finishing the achievable. They reach too low and sell themselves short. But they have more in them.

Dreaming is a waste of time if your drive in life is finishing things.


Finishing is like cocaine when you’re a gifted Doer. The more you get, the more you want. That’s the reason a good plan matters so much to Doers. “Don’t start if you can’t finish.”

Dreamers think, “Why plan when you could just get started?”


Doers start too few things and keep going when they should quit. 

Doers use preparation and plans to answer fear and create certainty.

Doers NEED to finish. Planning is most useful when results are predictable.  When finishing feels uncertain, Doers get stuck in preparation. Or they go do something else.

Planning is safer and wiser than starting a journey with an uncertain outcome. But many of life’s great opportunities begin uncertainly.

Great Doers:

  1. Evaluate critically. Doers aren’t happy until something meaningful is finished efficiently.
  2. Won’t quit. Failure to finish is the ultimate offense for Doers.
  3. Start reluctantly. The drive to finish well means Doers aren’t eager to start things.
  4. Seem rigid to Dreamers and Feelers. Doers know what needs to be done and how others should do it.

Success is partly about dream and mostly about do.

How might leaders maximize the strengths of Doers and protect them from their weaknesses?