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PLANNERS & PANTSERS

October 26, 2015

The performance engine has a plan.  It defines the work that will be done.  Left turns around a nascar track.  Exactly 4 of them, no more, no less.  Rinse and repeat.  New month, new plan, not wholly different than the last, but with faster lap times, less wear on the tires, quicker pit stops.  I have my stopwatch and clipboard.  We are ready.

 

Everything else is extraneous.  Cut it all out.  We are focused.  It is planned.  We are planners.

 

Yes.  Planners are focused.  And they can plan, because they know exactly what needs done.  They are merely picking the right set of steps from steps they have already taken.  But what if you need a set of steps you haven’t ever taken?  What if you need to do something you haven’t ever done?  What if you simply need to find new opportunities and your planners are too busy focusing on the plan and intentionally ignoring everything else that is otherwise extraneous.

 

Pants-ers are different.  For some reason they have developed a sense of read and react.  And in that, they are open to opportunities and value around them in a way that focused planners are not.  They have hunches into spaces that they have never before gone, and into steps they have never before taken.  Theirs is not the sport of nascar – 4 left turns, lap times, tire wear, and pit stops – theirs is the sport of mountain climbing – we are going up that mountain, but I cannot tell you what we will run into along the way, I cannot tell you how the path will wind until we are done, in fact their is a good bet for much of it that we will be too close to the face of the rock we are climbing to have a sense of how far we’ve come or where we are going.  We are going up, and from any given spot I can read and react to the context around us, the handholds available, the face of the rock as far as we can discern, and… which way is up.  If we keep going, we will eventually crest over one last rock, surprised to realize that we had suddenly arrived at the summit.  That discovery sneeks up on you.  So long as you continue to intentionally climb up.

 

Once done, the planners can determine the series of handholds to get there.  The time it takes.  If tires or rope are required and how long they all should or shouldn’t last.  Rinse and repeat.

 

 

 

 

 

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