Tag Archives: Planning

All planning and no action makes for a dull career

One of my favorite films is the 1980’s classic Valley Girl starring a young Nicolas Cage.  If you have not seen the movie some of what I am about to describe may ruin it for you so be aware.

One of my favorite parts of the movie is at the end when Nicolas Cage’s character crashes a dance party to win back his female love interest.  The only reason Cage’s character crashed the dance party was because is sidekick/buddy in the movie convinced Cage that he had a “plan” to win back his girl if he would just show up at the dance.  In actuality Cage’s friend did not have a plan at all, he just said that so Cage would show up and then once Cage showed up (uninvited and to an angry crowed) his friend told Cage that it was time to go into action and win back the girl (which Cage does).  Without that push to action Cage would not have got the girl and movie would have ended rather differently.

I have thought of this scenario when looking at my current or past jobs.  I have worked for and under many different bosses.  All of my past and current bosses were all good at managing people, planning and strategizing but what they all seemed to lack is the ability to put their elaborate plans into action.  I do not think any of my past superiors lacked the ability or opportunity for action but were discouraged to do so by the risk or uncertainty that would accompany taking action.  In our current environment of economic and job market volatility or risk is not something someone or company wants to incur (even it is necessary).

But without taking some action, taking some risks all your great plans and charts are nothing but doodles on paper.  So I say make enough plans and strategy to “crash the dance party” but then you need to start taking some action to win the girl.