Are You Thinking or Doing?

Posted by Lou Imbriano

Getting things accomplished is not a difficult thing to do. If people spent as much time actually getting things done as they do talking about it, there would be a lot more success stories out there. There is no such thing as a great idea that becomes a reality simply because it’s a great idea. On the contrary, I believe that it doesn’t become a great idea until it has been properly executed.

If you believe you are an “idea man” like Michael Keaton’s character in Night Shift (for those of you who have not seen it, his character walked around with a tape recorder to capture his wacky ideas, such as feed mayo to tuna while they are alive to save on prep time for a tuna fish sandwich), then you really need to think well beyond the idea. A concept is just the beginning, not the end. There are basically no bad ideas (well maybe a few), just poorly executed ones. What makes an idea good is the strategy and effort put behind it, not the concept itself.

Many people feel they have great ideas but have never seen them become a reality. I would claim that the reason lies purely in the fact that they are not willing to do what it takes to get it done. If you do not have the determination to see an idea through to the end, it’s not a good idea. If the concept doesn’t motivate you to get off your ass and make it happen, then really, how good is the idea? Failure is not due to a bad concept, it’s the outcome of poor execution.

I find it comical when folks come to us and say, “I have this great idea for you.” It’s very rare that it actually fits with how we operate and execute. But people impose their ideas onto others all the time, because they want someone else to do all the work, or worse, they want another to buy the concept. Bad sales people do this all the time. They pitch ideas to companies before they even know what the company is trying to accomplish.

In Winning the Customer, we discuss how it’s not about any particular idea, but the goals that a company is trying to achieve. Forcing a concept into a company’s plan because it’s what you think is a good idea is a great set up for failure. Until you actually understand the relationship and the goals of the organization, it is impossible to create an effective concept. Ok, you may get lucky at times, but is playing the lottery the way to ensure putting food on the table? I think not.

So, it’s as simple as this. If you think you have a good idea, get off your ass and make it happen. Don’t make excuses, don’t hem and haw, just go do. Many folks were ridiculed over the course of history because their ideas appeared crazy. I’m sure Thomas Edison had more than a few naysayers. It doesn’t matter what the naysayers think – what matters is what you do. Do not let yourself or others derail you. If you have what you believe is a viable concept, then roll up your sleeves and go do.