If You're Working On Today, You're Already Late For Next Month

I wasn't always a planner. In fact, I prided myself on my ability to will projects to completion without any prior preparation.


This worked well for me when I was solely responsible for my work. It does not and will not work well for an extended period when you are a leader at any level. This is one of the most difficult transitions for leaders to make: realizing what got you here won't get you there.


Planning and coordination is required because your teams do not know what you're thinking about. They aren't mind readers. In fact, they have ideas and plans of their own which you don't know about because...you can't read their minds.


Think of planning as a courtesy between professionals. Each of you are dealing with limited resources (equipment, time, people), so coordinating their use is critical to any business.


Planning, at it's most basic level, is identifying what you need to complete a goal and making sure you have everything you need. It's one thing when you forget to pack a toothbrush for an overnight business trip; it's another when you forget product specifications for a sales call or mixed up delivery times for a job site.


The best advice I've received on planning is start earlier than you think, then double it. It provides you and your teams more time to think through the process and you're more likely to discover resource constraints if you aren't rushed.


So today, take a moment and decide on a project that won't need to be done for three months and give yourself a week to plan it out. Give the plan to your team and have them add their thoughts. You'll learn more about how their minds work and get an idea on how to structure planning meetings in the future.


After that, give your plan a try. Even if it ends up being the worst plan ever you'll have learned something while doing what most businesses fail to do: plan for their future.



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