Whenever I talk with too much certainty about what I’ll do then, and then, and then, I know that I’ve become arrogant and lazy.

One of the gems from the Like Minds Summit back in February was short term execution with a long term goal. In other words, it was “there’s where we want to be, but let’s execute this first.”

So, essentially, there’s no “then,”, there’s only “now.”

Your Leading Thoughts

  1. Do you have similar traits when you get too confident and become complacent? (Or is it just me?)
  2. When did you learn that execution was more important that ideas?

Photo by juicyrai

Archived Comments

  • http://www.comrz.com Markus Karlsson

    I’ve been working with companies to launch online businesses for 15 years, and frequently they would (and do) come to us with phase 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 plans. Not once have things panned out as intended.

    I now advise people to simply have Phase 1 (immediate) and Phase N (next / never) plans. Having anything more means that you think you know everything before you start on something … never the case.

  • http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/ Adrian Segar

    Morning Scott!

    Ever since I started working for myself, 27 years ago, my future plans have always been measured in months, at best, not years. Perhaps that’s why I’m on my fifth career (event design) and I’m happier than ever. These days, the saving grace when I “know what I’m doing” for the next few weeks is that I’ve made commitments that stretch me – I don’t know how they’ll turn out, but I am pretty sure I’ll learn something new.

    I learned that you had to execute “one day at a time” the first time I committed to writing a large piece of software (a year’s work). If you can’t get into the mindset of “I’ll get this little bit done today”, the sheer enormity of a project will overwhelm you. This, and subsequent experience, stood me in good stead while writing my book, which ended up being a 4 year project, where I spent the first 2 years, as it turned out, writing almost nothing.

  • / Scott Gould

    Adrian – very good words – and very helpful. I’ve experienced the same.

    How do you think you break this down into a daily routine, if there is one?


  • / Scott Gould

    Markus – well said.

    I like your model, it follows the GTD system a bit as well!


  • http://www.conferencesthatwork.com/ Adrian Segar

    Well, you mentioned GTD in your comment to Markus, and that’s a big help in establishing what I _actually_ do each day. (What’s the next action that moves me forward?)

    But I have slowly realized that, for me at least, it’s vital that I keep time open, 60-90 minutes every day possible, for new/unexpected stuff. Social media has become the sparking place for this exploration time. Did I know I was going to have this little conversation with you when I woke up today? No. And I like it like that!

  • Anonymous

    I work off 99 day pans. I do put longer term goals in place but my 99 day plan is what I look at at a daily (not always!) basis.

  • / Scott Gould

    Very good – so you have an allocated time.

    I’ve done GTD religiously but am reevaluating at the moment. I need to cut things out and become better with delegation

  • / Scott Gould

    Ok – thanks Ian. Do you have a list that you keep these things on?

    How do you write your objectives?

    And why 99 days?


  • Anonymous

    99 days is a decent enough time for me to get through some chunky stuff. I use an excel spreadsheet in combination with omnifocus (task management). I’ve done some software projects based on 99 days and it certainly focuses the mind!

  • Anonymous

    By the way, what’s your trick for getting on top of things, what’s your habits we can learn from that makes you more productive?
    Here is 10 from my list:

    1. Sort out my to-do list every morning
    2. Start at 7 every morning.
    3. Review my 99 day goals every week
    4. Review my stats every week
    5. Keep my CRM system up to date
    6. Bring my laptop to meetings and be productive when waiting for people before meetings.
    7. Do the GYM at least 3 times a week at lunchtime. The GYM helps me think and makes me more productive.
    8. Avoid the laptop 1 day a week. You are more productive with 6 days work not 7.
    9. Group my tasks by context, if I’m on the phone I try to do the phone calls all at once.
    10. Make sure I’m doing 1 to 9 :-)

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey Ian

    Let me put what I do into a post.

    I love your 10 top things here. You have a clarity beyond what I do!

    You have a blog on producitvty? ;-)


  • http://www.sytaylor.net sytaylor

    I learned maybe 2 years ago that execution matters, I’d explain an idea to people and they’d love it. Then I’d go ahead and half ass the implementation, and it wouldn’t grow. People didn’t love it!

    Now I try to always be executing something, and keep most of that beneath the surface. The power of intrigue is useful too if you don’t blow your beans in the first 30 seconds. An elevator pitch + curiosity is better than nothing.

  • / Scott Gould

    You’re right Sy. I’m thinking about this whole “overeducated beyond our execution” thing right now…

  • Kancharla6