There is discomfort and stress in constantly feeling the need to change and eliminate excuses. We push ourselves to rid these uncomfortable feelings because in our gut we know that something has to be done about “x”, and we have to initiate it. However, the easiest thing to do is to neglect the nagging feelings and bet on things just “working out”. The right thing to do is to take the steps required to feel absolutely comfortable in how the plan is being executed.
Planning is so important because it is really about laying out how we will be “changing”. If there are no changes, no plan is required. We must say (plan) how/why we will change, or it will not happen – and if we do not follow up on the plan for execution, there is no point in planning. The plan can be a budget, an acquisition plan, a sales/marketing plan, a project plan, etc. Regardless of the purpose or content, once it is finalized the real work should begin soon after. However, it is easy to be worn out just from the planning process and wait 2-3 months before reflecting on it. When we let ourselves do this the uncomfortable feelings grow stronger and linger until change happens, or worse, until something bad happens in the absence of execution.
“Eliminating excuses” is an easy way to think about implementing change. If things are not on track at a later time/reflection point, we and the others we lead will have several excuses – all of which can be anticipated today. Simple personal example: I want to get my weight down to 175lbs and maintain that level. It is two weeks into January and I weigh about the same weight. To reflect on that, have I started the process of eliminating excusses in order to feel good and secure about my progress? The answer is yes, I have been eating better and I have held true to my plan in working out at least three times per week. While I am not at the 175lb level yet, I am comfortable in where I am and that I will get there based on my efforts to eliminate future excuses. So if we have goals for our teams/organiztion to perform at a higher level, what are the excuses that we and others will have in 6 months as to why we have not done what we said we would do? Doesn’t it make sense to pull the plan back out right now and start eliminating those? How can we be comfortable and manage our stress levels otherwise?
One of our core values at MCCi is to “Focus, Focus, Focus”. A plan without focused execution has no value, and our confidence and success rate only increases with the same speed as does our excuse elimination/execution efforts.