Planning is great. Planning is important. Without planning, you’re not sure where you’re going, and you don’t know how to get there. But planning is not playing. Planning is not action.

When you’re planning the game, you’re not playing the game. That’s what the COURT-LOCKER ROOM PRIME is about.

The game is not won in the locker room, no matter how fantastic a coach’s game plan is. It’s won on the court. Only by playing can you win.

It’s the same in business. Developing strategies, tactics, and action plans is not going to achieve your objectives. Only putting in the work will do it.

Don’t get too comfortable in the locker room

The locker room is a comfortable place to be because we’re not risking anything in there. We can’t lose the game in there. In the locker room, we can vision, brainstorm, and fantasize about our inevitable successes. We can come up with 100 different plans, all brilliant, all sure to help us and our organizations flourish.

Planning feels like hard work, and that’s why we fall into the planning trap – we feel like we’re doing something. We feel productive. We feel like we’re moving closer towards our goals. But we’re not. We only move closer to our goals when we get out of the locker room, get onto the court, and start playing.

Am I planning or playing?

Here’s how you can tell if you’re actually making progress or if you’re just talking about it: Are you putting anything on the line? Your reputation? Your resources? If you’re not risking anything, you have no chance of gaining anything.

What about failure? If you fail, will you fail publicly? There’s no such thing as failing on paper. You win the game on the court, and that’s where you lose it too.

Get your team out of the locker room and onto the court

Plans change all the time. New information comes to light, or something breaks, or someone quits, or the market changes, or, or, or… There are a million reasons why the plan you spent so long developing in the locker room is now useless on the court.

Don’t let that be an excuse for retreating to the locker room! Instead, expect that plans will change, and behave accordingly.

Speak with your team and find out what you can do now that will start the transformation. Take ACTION. At the same time, adjust your plan accordingly, but do it in real time, on the court.

Planning is not an excuse for not playing

I’m not saying that you should forget planning altogether. Far from it. Planning is crucial to project success. But be aware of when you’re planning and when you’re playing, and don’t use planning as an excuse for not playing. 

Are you interested in organizational and personal success? In leadership and managing teams? Then I have the book for you. My book, Match in the Root Cellar, will be out in 2017 and goes into these topics more fully. Be sure to check it out.