The Double-Edged Sword Of Planning And Future Thinking
Entrepreneurs have a life all about balance.
Well, most people have a life of balance.
You’ll often hear about work/life balance. You’ll read about a balance between time with family and with friends. You’ll try to find the balance that’s right for you for being alone and spending time with the one person you love most.
There are all types of different balances to manage in life and one of the most important for entrepreneurs is the balance of the past, present and future.
Planning & Future Thinking
Last week, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers mentioned that he looked at the Packer offense and felt and saw no clear-cut direction.
Your team looks to you for direction.
In Rodgers’ case, he’s looking to his coaches, the head coach especially, for direction on what the vision is for the offense. That means that the head coach, Mike McCarthy, needs to think into the future. He needs to have a vision for what he wants the team to accomplish as an offense.
Leaders have to look forward, but once you have a vision it is important to step back and focus on the steps to do in the present to achieve the long-term goal.
It would be easy for a leader to think that the team should just fall in line and do their job. After all, that’s what the team members are getting paid for, right?
That’s true, but motivation goes well beyond money. And some would say that money is not the best form of motivation anyway. Yes, we need money, but mostly we want money to do the things that really motivate us – comfort, pleasure, security, family, etc.
It’s the job of a leader to create a vision, a direction. Then it’s the job of the leader to create a plan for achieving that vision so the team can carry out the plan.
It happens in sports. It happens in life. It happens in business.
The Negative Side Of The Future
The burden of focusing on the future, however, falls at the feet of the leader.
When we think forward in life it leads to worry, anxiety and other negative emotions. Any entrepreneur has felt this at some point and likely has felt it almost at a constant pace.
It’s a challenge for entrepreneurs and it gets back to the idea of balance.
There was a recent article about CEOs using mindfulness to find a balance in life. Leaders are focusing on being mindful of present situations like meetings, conversations and more so they can be better leaders.
It can be a trap for a leader to have a drifting mind that always drifts to the future. It’s a requirement, after all, to focus on the future so the team has direction.
But it’s also important to focus on being present.
Present with yourself.
Present with team members.
Present with family and friends.
Being in the present also eases stress. Yes, bad things will happen in life and in business, but usually our minds drift into the future and the worst potential outcome.
But staying in the present brings out mind back to reality. We can better assess situations and usually see that things aren’t all bad and we can focus on finding the best solution.
As an entrepreneur, you have two seemingly separate things pulling at you all the time. In this case, it’s the future and the present pulling at you. It’s vital to your success and the success of your company that you find the right balance of planning, future-thinking and staying in the present.
It’s good for your business. Good for your health and good for your team.