Goal setting tops the agenda in 2018 for many of you, and it should. Planning your path to success will help you achieve business objectives throughout the year. While there’s nothing wrong with sketching out the year ahead (I love planning and goal setting, to be perfectly honest), it’s essentially useless unless you follow up with action — act sooner than later.
There are three major “planner types” in businesses I’ve come across over the years working in the channel: over-planner, under-planner and achiever.
The over-planner writes everything down. I’m sure you know who this in your organization (maybe it’s you). This individual writes pages of notes during a 30-minute meeting, even though it’s not necessary. These employees seem to be planning or preparing for something — but for what?
Over-planners document everything. Many of them keep spreadsheets and graphs for projects. They’ve lost sight of the following: The only reason we plan is to be sure the actions we take will align with the direction we want to head. Too much detail can actually make it harder to see priorities clearly.
Under-planners are the exact opposite of over-planners: They shoot first and ask questions later. These individuals are typically too busy doing to plan. If they ever decide to plan ahead, they rarely get to the implementation stage.
Consider this: They may be outworking others (coming in early, leaving late), but they’re usually not outperforming everyone. There’s a difference.
For example, I see this mentality in sales people all the time. They’re busy running around, kicking up dust with no plan or playbook. When they’re told their performance (their actual sales) are not up to expectations, they’re shocked and hurt because they feel they’ve been outworking everyone else.
Don’t think you’re immune to under-planning if you’re a business owner or in service delivery. Under-planners can be found in all aspects of a business.
This is who you ideally want to become: the achiever. You know who the achievers are; you’ve met them. Achievers have the right blend of planning and doing. More often than not, they seem smarter than they really are.
Achievers are disciplined enough to know how to how to execute on plans.
If you’re not an achiever and would like to become one, here’s what you can do:
— Start with the results you’re looking to achieve.
— Put simple accountability in place for results and the supporting actions leading to results. (This should include metric and meeting rhythms.)
— If you’re not hitting your goals, re-evaluate your plan. Make sure any adjustments you make will move the needle in the right direction.
While too little planning ensures you won’t reach your full potential, too much planning can paralyze you, negatively impacting business. Become an achiever today by finding the sweet spot and making achievement a habit.
If you’re looking for more resources on how you can implement a successful business plan, check out our free business planning eBook.