How to keep plans on track

A professional came from the big city to a small town to build a cabin so he could escape the hustle and bustle of life and set down roots where he could return to revive his spirits. His plan was to build a tiny house from the ground up. He asked around for help building his dream and found a couple of guys willing to give him a day’s work in exchange for his professional services. 

Things started to go sideways when it was discovered that there were no plans for the tiny house. This might not have been a problem if the professional had hired a carpenter to draw up the plans and help supervise the job, however in an attempt to save money, the professional opted to leave his dream in the hands of the free help. It’s true that one of the two helpers had some experience in construction, but what the professional didn’t know was that that helper was prone to make mistakes. 

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As the day of construction neared, one of the guys asked if the lumber was going to be ready. 

“Tell me what I need” said the professional. 

The helper drew up a list and on the day of the build, the two boys showed up and went to work building the tiny house. Down went the floor, as they were about to lift the first wall up, the professional asked where the door was. Because there were no plans, the helpers had thought they were building a back wall while the professional thought they were building the front wall. There was mass confusion. 

Unfortunately, this is how most people and businesses operate. We start with a vision in our mind of what we want to achieve but we don’t apply the time and effort necessary to draw up plans of the final product. We don’t write down and share our vision with our partners and staff. When this happens, everyone gets busy building something that they envision as the final product but usually each version differs from the original concept. 

Just as carpenters need plans to follow, your employees need clear and concise directions to follow in order for them to be truly successful. If they don’t have clarity about what is expected of them, they will imagine what they think you are looking for. Sometimes they will get it right but most times you, as their leader, will be frustrated. Developing systems that provide direction, checks and balances for accountability and feedback, help to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This leads to less stress and better outcomes. 

If you are tired of tearing down walls because someone built them wrong, frustrated because you are floundering, disillusioned, or not achieving results in your personal or professional life, you can change that!  I love this quote from Jim Rohnor: “If you don'tdesign your own life plan, chances are you'llfall into someone else's plan. And guess what they haveplanned for you? Not much.

 If you want better outcomes, starts by creating a written plan for your life and your business, and coming up with specific actions on how to achieve it. Failure to do so will result in plans that go sideways and outcomes you do not want.

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