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The Planner v. The Doer

How to win the battle within

Recently, while reading a piece by Marshall Goldsmith, I was reminded of a very insightful principle one of my early coach/mentors taught me. During one of our sessions in the “Rare Book Room” at Eastern University, Dr. Harold Howard described to me the inner battle we all have. The battle goes like this… in the morning I plan to do a bunch of things that are important to me… finish my A tasks (back then we planned our days with paper and pen using an organizational system much larger than my current laptop), start three new B tasks, write 5 thank you notes, spend 30 minutes doing my MBWA (management by walking around) activities, etc. Then my day happens… and of course I only accomplish, if I am having an awesome day, half of my plan. What happened? What happens most days?

Well, Harold described what Marshall calls the planner and the doer in all of us. The planner is wide eyed and believes you can do so much and starts the day with vigor. The doer… well the doer runs into roadblocks, things that are maybe easier to do, time wasters that make you feel like you are accomplishing but really are not, shinny things that take your eye off your goals, and unplanned important things. The planner and the doer are real and they must be reconciled to each other for effectiveness to become your daily reality.

One very good way to “win” this battle is to engage a mentor or coach who will challenge you daily to balance the planner and doer. One who understands the need for a solid accountability system to chart and maintain your progress. For some this is hiring a coach. Yes, the core of many coaching relationships is one of accountability to the behavior changes you have always wanted but have not been able to accomplish. Often this is realized through an effective accountability model and simply an outside force that holds you accountable. Coaching comes in many flavors these days and yet, a primary value of these relationships will always be one of accountability.

Solve the battle of the planner and doer by understanding both exist in your mind and by finally accepting that to seriously address those behavioral changes you desire you need an outside force to assist you in designing the plan and holding you accountable to your desired goals/changes. Now go win!!

Solve the battle between the planner and doer by first understanding both exist in your mind. One is probably stronger than the other, and you may not know which that is yet. This is where an outside force, a coach, can be of great value. Accepting that a coach can seriously help address those behavioral changes you desire is the first step in finding the most effective fit; the person that can drive you in designing the plan, and hold you accountable to engaging in the right steps to achieve goals/changes. No small feat and not for the faint of heart, but definitely a successful method to understand and leverage the planner and does within.

Most days do not need to end with carry-over to-do items. Winning the battle between the planner and doer can be accomplished with the support of a solid coach. It begins by understanding how each persona influences us moment to moment and deciding to gain control and drive each so that you are set up for success. You have the tools within, and may just need the expertise of a coach to strategically utilize each. You know what you’ve got to do…….now go win!!

#Creativetension #LeadershipDevelopment #ProjectManagement #TimeManagement

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