In Action, Change, Leaders

“A good plan implemented today is better than a perfect plan implemented tomorrow.” – George S. Patton

One of the struggles of leading in today’s world is the feeling that you don’t always have all the information. There are so many moving parts and so many things change so rapidly that we end up with this feeling that we’re missing something. When you combine that with our fear of making mistakes, we end up spending hours and hours analyzing problems trying to find the perfect solution, or the perfect time to implement our solution – and we never really find it.

The reason we never find it is because there is no perfect solution and there is no perfect time to implement it. If we wait to do things until everything is exactly right, we’ll end up doing nothing. Unfortunately, that’s what a lot of people in leadership roles spend their careers doing – nothing.

When you evaluate options, or explore opportunities, or prepare for challenges, don’t wait for the perfect answer or the perfect time. If you’re 75% sure this is the right thing to do, then do it. Better to fully implement a plan that’s mostly right than to never implement the one that’s perfect (see the quote above).

Another thing to remember: Very few decisions we make or actions we take are permanent and unchangeable. If you start your business down a certain path and it looks like that was the wrong choice, then adapt. Adjust. Change. Rarely do you make a decision that can never be changed from now to eternity. You try something, see how it goes, and then make course corrections. That ability to be agile is one of the key attributes of successful organizations today. It’s not optional – you must be able to adjust on the fly.

Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of perfection. Do the best you can to get to the right answer, but don’t let it become some kind of life quest. Make a decision and get going. In the end, nobody wins because they developed the perfect plan. The winners are those who actually make things happen. So start making things happen. Now.

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    ARY JUNIOR

    fantastic this article…In Brazil we have a proverb that means: melhor mais ou menos hoje do que perfeito nunca or: better more and less today than perfect never

    • Matt Heemstra
      Matt Heemstra

      Thanks Ary – great proverb, I’m going to start using that here. Thanks for sharing!

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