PLAN OR NOT TO PLAN? Johnny Bunko follow-up…

11 06 2008

Some time ago I strongly recommended you to read Daniel Pink’s latest book “The Adventures of Johnny Bunko – the last career guide you’ll ever need”, if you still haven’t – here’s a very good overview by author/speaker/genious Garr Reynolds that you really should check out. Garr is a former teacher of mine and I’m an avid reader of his blog (you should be too!), he’s a major authority on the art of giving good presentations and I owe a lot of my own presenting style to him. Even though he probably doesn’t know it I consider him an important mentor and a huge source of inspiration, he’s a truly generous and cool guy.

I haven’t had the chance to read his book yet but be sure that it’s first on my priority list.

With Garr Reynolds, Ritz Carlton.jpg

That’s Garr to the left, and yes, that’s my sweaty face to the right…

Back to Johnny Bunko and Daniel Pink. If you’ve read the book or looked through the overview by Garr that I just linked to you know that one of the rules (the first, actually) is “There is no plan!”. This was the rule that struck me the strongest as I’m a big believer in planning. Pink differs between making decision for instrumental reasons, when you think that x will lead to y etc., and fundamental reasons, when you do something because you think it’s valuable regardless of what it leads too. He then continues to say that instrumental reasons usually don’t work because things are too complicated and unpredictable, and that we instead should focus on making decisions for fundamental reasons.

the plan.png
What do >you< think? Plan or no plan?

I understand his point and I also realize that it is very much true especially in todays globalized and increasingly dynamic world, but I still believe that planning is a central aspect of reaching a successful and fulfilling life.

This is a very complex issue as there are many different levels and aspects on wich you can plan, Daniel Pink is an absolute genious and I still think the rule offers a very good paradigm on making decisions.

However, my biggest problem with this advice is the actual separation between instrumental and fundamental reasons. I actually believe (I’m sure) that successful people do things for instrumental reasons all the time! They do them within an arena of their lives that is fundametally and inherently valuable to them…

What I’m trying to say is that there is nothing wrong with doing things for “instumental reasons”, if you decide to do something difficult, tideous, or even boring because you know that it will lead to something great (fundamentally and inherently valuable to you/others), it’s called sacrifice…it’s called dedication, and it’s also called tactics.

arnold and maria.jpg

Arnold planned his life in minute detail, from winning Mr. Olympia, moving to America, becoming a movie star, entering politics and even marrying a Kennedy!

L

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