Make It A Great Day, But Have A Damn Plan

img_1371I’m as web-based as the next guy — searching, buying, posting, texting and noodling just like most of you. I’m also pretty disciplined, so I try to do my noodling only after finishing my work. But I don’t often peruse social media looking for deep thoughts.

I still shudder at the poor-quality content that self-made gurus post on social media. If only a business were easy enough to run by reading pictures of chalkboards with exhortations to:

  • Face the music.
  • Make the best of everything.
  • Make it a great day.
  • Be a good servant.
  • Overcome.
  • Turn around your life — every second is a new chance, you know.
  • Listen deeply.
  • Invite others on your journey.
  • Etc.

If these don’t make you gag, drink some sour milk to make sure your gag reflex isn’t broken!

I’m OK with facing the music, but by itself with no specificity on which music, what facing it means and how often you do it, this platitude is as useless as a screen door on a submarine!

No doubt about it, great headlines cause people to read articles, columns and blogs. However, if you’re heading to the office this morning with thoughts of “overcoming” and have no plan, I suggest you turn around, go home, have another cup of coffee and work out a method.

When I help companies craft a new strategy, we often start with a big idea. Then we break it down into critical issues and then into operating plans for those critical issues. Without the big idea, it’s hard to align the organization and communicate with the troops. Without the detail, however, the big idea is just a daydream.

I have the joy of working with some extremely talented executives as clients. I guarantee you that none of them posted a 280 characters or less exhortation to their troops today to “make the best of everything.” In fact, I’d be surprised if any of them spent much time at all on social media today. Perhaps just to check the schedule for their kids’ soccer game.

I prefer to write short blog posts to lengthy tomes that few would read. However, I assure you that if you’re looking for a leg up in your role as a leader or manager, you won’t find meaning in 280 characters or less.

Longer isn’t better, and simplifying complex issues into something that the mind can grasp is a great skill. If I were smarter, I could perhaps get my thoughts across more quickly. However, leading others, crafting strategy and building a sustainable organization that competes in a complex world — no one learns these from a chalkboard. They take real effort and real work.

By all means, “Make it a great day!” But put some damn thought into it!

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  • John Mozeliak

    8:27 pm November 7, 2016

    Todd, well said, your point of writing it down is most important. Look at it and take time to smell the coffee…
    If it does not smell good, re-write.

    • Todd Ordal

      8:42 pm November 7, 2016

      Thanks, John!