“He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.”
…Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame
A quicker way of saying this is to “plan your work and work your plan”.
I am constantly amazed at how much time people spend on planning and how little time they spend on working. Quick to complain, quick to beat themselves (and their staff) up for not enough productivity but they are refusing to actually do THEIR bit to get it done.
Case in point: years ago I worked as an office manager for a man who could never make up his mind about product pricing. We continually took questions from customers around the world asking about pricing. For just one product, it took him almost 8 months to get a price. We did everything within our power (and many of us crossed boundaries to try to get it done) to hold off the client inquiries but in the end he didn’t sell one single product because he couldn’t manage to get pricing figured out. He refused to meet his team half-way and do his job. He loved to tell us all his PLANS to work, but never actually worked.
We lost a lot of team members and eventually I also left the organization. We worked very hard and because the one we worked for didn’t at LEAST meet us halfway – our work was in vain.
I heard one of my team members in that company utter her final words before she walked out and even today I smile when I think about it. The boss came through telling people they need to do this and that and ended her decree with, “just do your jobs, folks” and this team member said, “right back at ya”…she was fired, of course, but inside I was giving her a thunderous ovation!
Meet your team halfway – do your job – and you’ll be amazed at the results!