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David FullerA professional came from the big city to a small town to build a cabin so he could escape the hustle and bustle of life, and set down roots where he could revive his spirits.

His plan was to build a tiny house from the ground up. He asked around for help building his dream and found a couple of guys willing to give him a day’s work in exchange for his professional services.

Things started to go sideways when it was discovered that there were no plans for the tiny house.

This might not have been a problem if the professional had hired a carpenter to draw up plans and help supervise the job. However, in an attempt to save money, the professional opted to leave his dream in the hands of the free help.

It’s true that one of the two helpers had some experience in construction. But what the professional didn’t know was that this helper was prone to make mistakes.

As the day of construction neared, one of the guys asked if the lumber was going to be ready.

“Tell me what I need,” said the professional.

The helper drew up a list and on the day of the build, the two boys showed up and went to work building the tiny house. Down went the floor. As they were about to lift up the first wall, the professional asked where the door was.

Because there were no plans, the helpers thought they were building a back wall while the professional thought they were building the front wall. There was mass confusion.

Unfortunately, this is how most people and businesses operate. We start with a vision of what we want to achieve, but we don’t apply the time and effort necessary to draw up plans of the final product. We don’t write down and share our vision with our partners and staff.

When this happens, everyone gets busy building something that they envision as the final product. But each version usually differs from the original concept.

Just as carpenters need plans to follow, your employees need clear and concise directions to follow in order for them to be truly successful. If staff don’t have clarity about what’s expected of them, they will imagine what they think you’re looking for. Sometimes they will get it right but most times you, as their leader, will be frustrated.

Developing systems that provide direction, checks and balances for accountability, and feedback help to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This leads to less stress and better outcomes.

If you’re tired of tearing down walls because someone built them wrong, frustrated because you’re floundering, disillusioned, or not achieving results in your personal or professional life, you can change that!

I love this quote from Jim Rohn: “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.

 If you want better outcomes, start by creating a written plan for your life and your business. Then come up with specific actions on how to achieve that plan.

Failure to do so will result in plans that go sideways and outcomes you don’t want.

Troy Media columnist David Fuller, MBA, is a certified professional business coach and author who helps business leaders ensure that their companies are successful. David is author of the book Profit Yourself Healthy. Need Plans? Email [email protected]

Dave Fuller is a Troy Media contributor. Why aren’t you?

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