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Mastering the Planning Game Like a Pro

Mastering the Planning Game Like a Pro

Are you a Plan Maker or a Winger?

Do you thrive on creating blueprints that may never see the light of day, or do you tend to fly by the seat of your pants?

We all know that every business needs both planning and action.

The challenge is that we tend to lean to one extreme or the other under pressure.

We cannot help ourselves. It's part of our wiring. We either need action or a need for organization and control. Each tendency has its pros and cons when running your travel business.

Plan Makers have a well documented roadmap. Their big ideas are etched out in detail. They have categories and sub-categories for each area of their business plan. The benefit is that they have great clarity on their vision, and the “how to” makes sense on paper.

The problem, as every true Plan Maker knows, is that making plans becomes a form of procrastination.

“When in doubt, let’s go back and make a better plan.”

Wingers on the other hand, love to make things happen. They are the energizer bunny, revved up through the day. Their team considers them the “rain maker” for the business.

The lie they tell themselves is that plans go out the window by 10:00 am, and somehow, it all gets done.

Deep down, every Winger knows they have reached their breaking point. They would be much better off if they took the time to plan, prioritize, delegate, and assess how they spend their time.

The secret for Plan Makers and Wingers alike, is to focus on planning as a verb, not a noun.

“Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.”

Dwight Eisenhour

In between Plan Makers and Wingers, there is a sweet spot: The Planning Pro.

The Planning Pro strikes the balance between planning and action. They emphasize time ownership, empowerment, delegation and accountability.

Planning is a daily activity that connects your most important priorities to your calendar. The Planning Pro knows that at any point in time, the activity they are working on is what the moment calls for to impact their business.

What could you do to create a critical balance between planning and action?

I love this quote from Gary Keller.

“What is the one thing that makes everything else easier or unnecessary?”

For example, the other day I was coaching a Travel Agency owner who decided to double her volume by eliminating her personal sales.

Instead of spending time with clients, she now invests in growing her team and each team member’s sales. This will make achieving her goal of a 100% increase easier and her personal sales unnecessary.

It is not an easy transition to reduce or eliminate personal sales, but it is one example of how less is more when growing your business.

What could you do to become a Planning Pro? Here are a few tips.

  • Plan 3 to 5 priorities at a time. Eliminate the rest.

  • Don’t manage your time; own your time.

  • Plan breaks for fresh air, water, and exercise.

  • Relentlessly, stay on top of your calendar.

  • Fewer, better meetings.

  • Declare your intentions before interactions

  • Be present, listen with interest, practice empathy

  • Review the day; start tomorrow before you finish today

  • Celebrate at the end of each day.

  • Thank someone before you ask anything of them.

A better planning strategy that balances concrete plans with a bias for action will make a world of difference to your business.

Enjoy the journey!


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