McBride for Business Blog

Effective Planning vs. Chasing Your Tail

May 3, 2017 // R. Shawn McBride // No Comments »

R. Shawn McBride spoke about effective planning. Here is the transcript:

Hey folks, R. Shawn McBride with you here live, talking about effective planning versus chasing your tail. Just the other day my good friend Jim Wip posted a picture, it was one of those motivational type photos and it said, “Planning.” It said something to the effect of, “We have a lot of work to do before we announce that we’ve missed our goals and objectives.” This is the type of planning we see all too often in organizations. I’ve got to think that all of us have been involved at some point in our careers in organizations where planning ends up killing projects. There’s so much planning done, that nothing happens. This is what we’re here to stop. It kills businesses and it’s one of the reasons people know that smaller businesses are often more competitive than larger businesses, because larger businesses are caught up in these committees and these plannings and these talkings and talkings and talkings without getting anything done.

We want to do planning in such a way that it’s done effectively and that we aren’t running in circles playing all of these what if games. What ifs are very important in planning. They have to be done, but at some point you have to say, “Stop and we’re moving forward.” This is why it’s great to have planning run by a leader. A leader can set the boundaries. You want to involve others in the decision making. You want to make proper decisions that are informed, but at some point a decision has to be made. Businesses are not necessarily democracies. It’s great to have employees involved. It’s great to have consensus, but businesses don’t have to have majority rule.

This is why you need to have a decision maker and this is why effective planning is run by a person in charge of the project rather than a committee. When we get committees involved we often have death by committee. We have everybody trying to agree. We can see what happens in our state legislatures. We can see what happens in Congress when you have to have certain percentages of people agree. We need an effective decision maker that rules the day. That’s how we get good planning. But we want planning that involves others, and many of the steps that I’ve discussed before come in to this. Setting your goals and objectives. Setting your timelines, working on it. Running your plan by others in iterative fashion. All of this can be done excellently to improve your plans, but ultimately somebody makes the decision. You don’t need everybody to agree on every aspect of your decision.

That’s the difference between effective planning and playing what if games. If this is something you or your organization is struggling with, I would love to have a conversation with you, understand more of what’s going on, and provide you some value added advice. If I can help you in any way, please let me know. Make sure you check out our blog,, and reach out to me if I can help your team with some training, with a speech or with some one-on-one coaching to get you through these planning things and take your organization to the next level. I know we can do great things together.

R. Shawn McBride signing off for you.

Make sure you download our free checklist to assess your business:

This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein.  This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique.  Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Helmut Gevert.


About the Author

R. Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment (, gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at or (214) 418-0258.


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