Debate what you want to do and make a decision how to proceed...


Recently I wrote a blog outlining the three steps for getting things done and wanted to take some time exploring the steps a little deeper — what will make this even more fun is my friend Renée Cormier is writing a complementary series of blogs to help with the exploration (see her latest blog). I should point out that in writing my last post I discovered that there are really four steps for getting things done, and so far we’ve worked through the first two steps:

Establish your goals and objectives

Propose what you want to do

I will admit the discovery of missing a crucial step was slightly embarrassing but it’s a nice example of the third step to get things done “in action” (as well as one of the reasons I like collaborative blogging and the comments they generate).

Step number three:

Debate what you want to do and make a decision how to proceed

Simply put, this is where you pressure test your proposal, get feedback, make it better, and increase the chances that step four will be successful (can you say foreshadowing). Arguably, I would suggest this is the most important step because it will offer strong insight into what the outside world thinks of your proposal (it’s always a perfect proposal in our head). If you scratch a little deeper the real message is you need an advisory group — it may be something that is part of your everyday operating mechanisms, a loose team you’ve established to help you make better decisions, or simply a trusted confidant. No matter how you do it, you need a mechanism (and people) to challenge what you propose honestly and constructively.

After reading Renée’s last two blogs I don’t think she’s addressed this step, although there could be numerous reasons — she may not believe it’s important, maybe I didn’t comprehended what she wrote correctly, maybe she hasn’t gotten around to addressing it yet, or it could be I’m just wrong. I look forward to her thoughts and insights on this. As I mentioned, this is one of the reasons I like these collaborative blogs, and I suppose also a nice way to illustrate the reason I think step three is so important. Step three also allows you to develop the language you will use to communicate your proposal (idea) to effectively get people to listen, get their buy-in, their support, and get their approval (both internally and externally). And although it can sometimes be painful, it also helps you understand that sometimes what you are proposing is “stupid”.

And this brings us to the step we’ll be discussing next

Execute on what you want to get done, and do it