Closing the Gap Between Planning and Execution

David Ho's Planning and Executing

A borderline-coherent catharsis beginning with an expression of my frustrations with planning and execution – An Ode to Entrepreneurship

I find myself tormented by the space some people around me put between planning and actually executing on their colleced thoughts and vision. As a small businessman I think one needs to be in a solution-oriented actionable mindset now and always! If you took the time to plan on doing something – take the time to plan and execute that plan!

Perhaps it is a misconception of what a good and complete plan looks like that leads to this disparity – though there are of course other culprits (try overextending yourself over too many endeavors :-D ). A good plan requires not only a clear statement of intent and vision for the goal agreed upon – whether for an individual or a business – but it also needs to be drilled down to the point that it is actionable and then placed on a time line with deadlines. It needs to be “doable” – if you ever are reading through a plan you’ve made and you, or those reliant on it cannot clearly envision the actual work and action you have to take at any point in the plan your plan is incomplete. If you don’t drill down far enough you won’t be able to do your plan and therefore will not be able to reach the goal intended… which is the whole point of planning in the first place!

In my experience fear, lack of motivation, a lack of urgency, and a general lack of experience all contribute to the widening of this gap. It’s a curious and endlessly aggravating point of frustration for me. It’s particularly aggravating when that waste interferes and interrupts my own progress towards success – for instance when in partnerships wherein my progress is dependent on the groups ability to execute.

I’ve grown to accept the fact that in my world there are two types of people – those that “get it” and those that don’t. Those that get it are solution oriented, they understand that sometimes you just need to do what is necessary to get a task done. Those that don’t spend time exploring and dwelling on the problem, they talk about ideas to solve the problem but rarely have the initiative or courage to make a decision and act upon it. Those that get it don’t waste time with words that aren’t worth the energy to speak, those that don’t waste considerable amounts of time on those less than necessary words. Those that get it get things done, they solve problems quickly and expend energy in problem solving tasks in proportion to the significance of the problem. Those that get it understand sometimes making a decision is more important that what you decide upon. Those that don’t spend too much time debating things that aren’t worthy of it, they misprioritize their expenditure of energy and extend time lines. Those that get it are doers, they make decisions for the best of all parties involved – not just themselves – they take care of those that are important to them and their success. Those that don’t, when push comes to shove, save there own ass and worry about helping those their success is dependent on afterwords if at all. Those that get it understand how necessary taking care of those whom your success is dependent upon for their individual success – immediately and in the future. Those that don’t are fundamentally out gunning for themselves – concepts of mutual benefit fall second to the individuals benefit – even in cases where their words attempt to exonerate them – their actions typically display their self-interested truth.

I suppose you could argue those that “get it” could be classified as entrepreneurs whereas those that don’t “get it” are typically resigned to employment – it’s surprisingly tell-tale when I’m forced to guess if someone will “get it” or not. The higher up the echelon you go the closer to “getting it” employees become – the closer you become to having an entrepreneurial mindset.

When I think about it it is a relatively straightforward phenomenon to understand. As an employee you generally begin your professional life in a position where your tasks are given to you, your goals in the workplace are defined for you. As you make your way into management you begin to get tasks that are less finite and more open ended. You begin to understand some bigger picture aspects of what you do – you begin to understand your roles effect on the business and perhaps your contribution to the companies goals. Up again you begin to define some of those goals and targets with less guidance from those above you – you begin to become, what I would consider, independent. The farther up you go the closer you get to the business owners mindset – the closer you get to self-defining goals for the business. Once your sitting in that seat you understand, as more experienced entrepreneurs understand I imagine, that you can truly do anything you set your mind to. And, just as importantly, you understand how to execute and get those goals done.


  • michael michelini

    cool dude, you executed and got this blog post done! hehe – good to see you blogging!

    Yea……i guess when I read this I think about my life and my situation….i think a problem in a small business or entrenpreneur’s mind and environment is that its so open ended, and sees so many opportunities, and so many ideas come flying around……that one has to be “mean” and focus on only a couple.

    I have had to do that lately…just let ideas shown to me DIE, because I cannot hand hold those people to execute on their ideas… they look to me to execute. WHICH I COULD, if I had time…..

    Time is the hardest and most valuable thing we have. To manage it, and have the balls to execute….taht it the trick.