Momentum Podcast: 483

People Look Broken Without a Plan

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

People look broken without a plan.  When you don’t have a plan, you will believe you have people issues and face constant turnover.   Conflict.  Frustration.  Things not getting done.  Without a plan, the team doesn’t have clarity, so they become tentative and are less likely to take risk and commitment to the work goes down.  Your team without a plan will be frustrating and annoying.  This is not a people problem.  This is the direct result of not having a clear plan connected to a long-term vision. 

With a clear plan, your team will perform at a higher level and clarity and confidence will go up.  Strategic plans connect day to day activities to long term vision.  With a strategic plan, momentum will be created faster than you thought possible.  

If you are ready to create a strategic plan so your team knows exactly where you are going, reach out to us at 

Full Audio Transcript

There's a reason why in so many entrepreneurial companies, the following conditions exist. Good people go bad. The team feels broken. Chaos and frustration reigns and projects are not getting done on time, and there's constant unexpected turnover and even conflict.

Here's what's interesting. All of these conditions can be traced back to one foundational issue. You don't have a plan.

I'm Alex Charfen, and this is The Momentum Podcast, made for empire builders, game changers. trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future, and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent positive human evolution, and we always will be.

People look broken without a plan. Human beings that don't have a plan, that don't know where they're going, they can't predict what the next steps are and what direction they should be moving fundamentally look broken. Let me give you a simple comparison to business. This is a sports analogy. I use it all the time. You've probably heard me say it before, and just in case, so I can warn you if you're a sports person and you see me at an event, understand that my knowledge of sports goes about as far as this analogy but here's the analogy. If you walk into a locker room, an NFL locker room on the first day of the season, and you walk up to any rookie and say, hey, what's the plan around here? They'll tell you immediately what their plan is. They want to get to the Hall of them, they want to win the Super Bowl. They want to win everybody they line up against this season. They want to win the games for the month. They want to win the game this weekend and they know exactly the workouts, the physio, the training that they have to do that day to get there.

Every single day, every person on an NFL team knows that what they're doing leads to this, not just the Super Bowl, but to the Hall of Fame. It leads to their long term visionary, this is where I want to end up goal, and the challenge is in entrepreneurial businesses, when you walk up to somebody and you say, what's the plan around here? The majority of people will say, I don't know. Maybe survive, don't get yelled at, get what you need to get done today, but there really is not that same clarity of day to day to what we're doing in the week to what we're doing in the month to what we're doing in the quarter to what we're doing in the year to what's going to get us to that long term vision that we are driving towards as a business, as a team, as an organization.

What happens is when you don't have that long term vision, that outcome that people are driving towards, what happens is a lot of times, you feel like you have a people problem. Let me explain what I mean by that. When you don't have a plan, you see the symptoms, but they're ascribed to a different issue, so good people go bad. Oh, that must be a paid people issue. Not finishing projects, my team is not working hard enough. It feels chaotic. The team just isn't getting along. We're not getting, we have turnover. We're doing something wrong in hiring. We're not bringing in the right people. There's conflict. We're not lining people up the right way. The reality is to all of these things, is when you have a plan, you will dramatically improve if not solve those issues.

Because what we have is we have people join our program all the time and tell us I have people issues. I have challenges with my team. I can't get things done. Everybody's not pointing in the same direction. I feel like there's conflict. We can't find the right people. It's incredibly frustrating, and what they really have is not a people issue. What they have is a clarity problem. The team does not have clarity as to where you're going, because there's not a plan. When the team does not have clarity, it lowers their confidence level as to what they're doing so they become tentative. They have a hard time stepping out there taking risks, making things happen, and when you lower their clarity and lower their confidence, here's what happens. Their commitment to the work goes down. I don't care how good your people are. I don't care how amazing they are. If you put them in a place where they lack clarity, if you put them in a place where their confidence in what they're doing goes down, if you put them in a place where those two same things happen, you will lower their commitment to the work and you will get less out of that person than you should be getting.

It's incredibly frustrating to be there as an entrepreneur, and here's the epiphany I had around these issues of when you don't have a plan. Most entrepreneurs blame people issues and are in constant turnover and turmoil, because they don't have a plan, and they're in constant turmoil and turnover because they feel like it's normal so we perpetuate this and it is normal. It's normal to have change on your team. It's normal to have turnover on your team. It's normal to have people leave, it's normal to have people join. However, when you have a plan, things get easier and changes are not as devastating, and when you have a plan, here's what happens. When you have a plan, the opposite of what I just described happens. When you have a plan, clarity goes up. When you have a plan, confidence goes up, and when you have a plan, commitment to the work goes up and you start seeing people's real capability. You start seeing what your team is actually capable of.

Here's why this is so important. There are three elements to momentum for any human being, for any position, for any division or department and for any company and as a whole. Those three elements are you must have clear outcomes that are easy to understand, impossible to misunderstand. You must have transparency, which means a scoreboard, a way to understand whether you're moving forward or not and you must have accountability. The people on the team know what their responsibilities are and what they're driving towards, and that clear outcome at the beginning, that is the strategic plan, the plan that connects day to day activities to your long term vision. When you have that, everyone on your team will actually be better.

Second, when you don't have a plan, when you don't have that day to day to long term vision, you will always be the biggest bottleneck and I talk about this all the time but I want to drive it home in this podcast because what I'm seeing over and over again, is entrepreneurs coming to us with massive opportunity, the opportunity to grow, the opportunity to do more. People are actually coming to them and saying, I want you to sell me more stuff, I want to buy more from you, and so many of them are in a place where they can't execute because they don't understand the first step is to create a strategic plan, a strategic plan that will actually lay things out so that you and your team can pursue them without you having to tell everybody step by step transactionally what to do. When you're in transactional leadership or management, telling people what to do, and then checking that it got done and telling them what to do again, it will kill you. When you get into transformational leadership, where instead of transactional, you get people clear outcomes, that strategic plan, you support them along the way and coach them and then you get leveraged results, everything in your business will change. Momentum will be created faster than you thought possible.

Here's something that you have to understand about having a plan. People look broken without a plan and a team without a plan is frustrating and annoying, and let me repeat that. Your team will be frustrating and annoying. This feeling will make you turn on your people and will make people turn on you. If that sounds dramatic, good. It is because I see it all the time and it happens all the time and it's a constant in entrepreneurial businesses.

Entrepreneur has a lot to do. They hire a team, they don't have a plan. The team is constantly coming to them with [inaudible 00:08:19] and needing stuff and asking for things and they need things repeated, and they're tentative, and they don't have confidence and they're not really pulling the trigger and they're not taking initiative and the entrepreneur goes into a place where they're frustrated and irritated and they don't want all the questions and here's what happens. You get into that dynamic where there's no plan and you're the biggest bottleneck and your team has to ask you all the questions and they constantly have to come to you. Here's what happens. You end up in a place where you will develop animosity towards your team and they will develop animosity towards you. I know this. I've been there. I've been in a place where we missed having a plan for an individual.

I've been in a place where we didn't have a clear plan for a department even though I thought I did. I've been in a place where a long time ago, I didn't have strategic plan in my business, I didn't know how to assemble them and it would make me feel negatively towards my team but more importantly, it would make them feel negatively towards me. When you have that negative energy going back and forth, there's no way you're going to create the productivity, the efficiency, the outcomes that you want as an entrepreneur to actually be okay with running your business.

Here's what you need to know. You must have a strategic plan that connects day to day activities to long term vision, when every person on your team, by the way, including you, you're the most important one, so every person on your team including you should be committed to the plan, should know that it's going to help you win, should know that this is how you're going to actually move forward and when it connects vision to day to day, everything gets easier for the entire team. Here's what you need to know. When you have a strategic plan, confidence and commitment are created by the clarity of the strategic plan and you will get more out of every person working with you.

Let me say it again, a strategic plan is like a booster to the productivity of every person working with you and it will actually give you a bigger return on the investment you're making in those people every single day. That's massive. Just a strategic plan will do that, and then this is another thing you need to know. Talented people will get better with a plan, but look most broken without a plan. That's an interesting one, so the more talented the person, the better they will look when you provide them with a plan, the more productive they will be, the more they will win, the more they will shock you with how much they're able to get done, the more they will impress you with how much they do for your organization.

However, the more talented the person, the more broken they will look when they don't have a plan because see here, talent doesn't like to lose. Talent doesn't step into the abyss. Talent doesn't walk into a fog. Talent won't do something when they know that there's not a high likelihood of success, so the problem with not having a plan is that your most talented players will become frozen. Your most talented players will be disempowered, your most talented players will be afraid to pull the trigger and your most talented players will leave.

This is how important it is to have a plan. Here's what you have to understand about strategic planning. One, 99% of entrepreneurial businesses don't have it. When I say that in front of audiences, sometimes I'll have that guy or gal, there's always one, ask the question, well, if 99% of businesses don't have it, why do I need to have it? If only 1% have it, then it can't be that important. Well, let's just look at the numbers. In the United States today, there's around 29 million businesses. 22 million of them are under $100,000 in revenue. We bump that up to $1 million and it's close to 26 million are under $1 million in revenue.

Entrepreneurs as a whole, as a society, as a class of business are failing radically. Most of them are not making money. The average entrepreneur does not make that much money every single year, and your business will never hit maximum velocity without a plan and your people will always look broken, and you will continue to struggle. If 99% of businesses don't have a plan, why do you need one? Because I want you to get into that rarefied air of actually hitting seven figures, which only 3% of companies ever do, and then maybe even hitting 3 million, which even less, a smaller percent of companies ever do, and maybe even getting to eight figures, where a tiny little fraction of companies ever get, and maybe, just maybe having the opportunity to have the impact that a nine figure business does.

Here's what I can tell you. We're coaching people that are going to do exactly that. We've actually worked with companies in just the past couple years that have gone from seven to multiple eight figures, and we have a couple that are on their way to 100 million using our systems. Why? Because every person on the team can predict the future, knows where they're going, and has the clarity, confidence, and even the commitment to do what they need to do to move the organization forward as fast as possible.

Here's what it takes, a clear strategic plan. If you're ready to build a strategic plan and a system to communicate with your team, so that everyone knows exactly where you're going, don't try and do this all yourself, reach out to us. Let us share with you our programs, what we offer and how we help, whether it's now or sometime in the future. You should understand how we can help you build the team that you've always known you should have, create massive momentum in your business and go out and leave your dent in the universe. Go to, answer a few questions from my team and you'll have an opportunity to set up a call with us. We look forward to hearing from you,

Thank You For Listening!

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