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Effective deciding and doing starts with a pre-determined course of action, or what some call strategic planning.


There is a short little story about four little frogs sitting on a log. One decides to jump off, how many are left?

Some respond with three frogs in answering this question. Yet the correct response is four because there is a big difference between deciding and doing.

In the marketplace, especially for small business owners and crazy busy salespeople, there are a lot of decisions being made each day.

Should I attend this event or make that sales call? Then add in all the administrative decisions from accounting to marketing, and those engaged in business are like jugglers who are constantly adding more and more balls.

Effective deciding and doing starts with a pre-determined course of action, or what some call strategic planning.

A colleague of mine, Mike Mirau, stresses with his clients that there is a difference between strategic thinking and strategic planning, and I agree.

Strategic Planning

Thinking is a reflective process that simultaneously looks to the past, the present, and the future. This is why many effective strategic planning processes include:

  • Historical data (Past)
  • Organizational assessment (Present)
  • Trend analysis (Future)

A Pre-Determined Course Of Action

Planning comes after thinking and takes the collected information to construct a pre-determined course of action that attempts to identify the majority of known and even unknown (what if) obstacles keeping the plan from moving forward.

Then and only then are specific action steps created along with responsibility (delegation) and target dates.

Both strategic thinking and strategic planning are necessary for today’s dynamic global marketplace.

Yet both require time and that is one resource many fail to leverage or are unwilling to reallocate because the ongoing demands keep, as noted business expert Michael Gerber has articulated, people working IN the business instead of ON the business.

Use Your Time Wisely For A Competitive Advantage

Since most people admit to wasting at least 12 minutes each day, then what would happen if each morning you invested six minutes to determine what actions you will take today.

Then when the day is over, invest the other six minutes to confirm that you took those pre-determined actions and list the immediate value to you or your business.

Deciding and doing are indeed separate and when executed correctly are both proactive behaviors.

For those who are proactive and ahead of the marketplace flow, they have the ability to see where the flow is going. This is a competitive advantage and truly helps to keep from adding more balls to the daily juggling act.

About the author

Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Leanne Hoagland-Smith has over 25 years in sales. Her true joy is selling and…

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