“A good plan vigorously executed right now is far better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
–George S. Patton
One of the tools I use when coaching leaders is the Maxwell DISC assessment. I believe it helps to awaken self-awareness on a number of fronts that the leader might not be aware of, and it creates valuable conversations and questions that we discuss during our sessions.
Reflection is incredibly valuable, and I recommend it often. So much value can be found in thinking through recent decisions, conversations, thought patterns, and more. Great leaders prioritize reflection.
There is a trap, though, in extended times of reflection that I’ve seen snare more than one leader.
It’s the trap of overanalysis.
On the DISC assessment, I’m a solid C. Have you ever worked with someone who enjoys gathering facts and details and is thorough in all activities? Some people are precise, sensitive, and analytical. This is the C Style, known as “Logical Thinkers.”
This is an excerpt from the DISC report: “Logical Thinkers may be self-evaluating and critical of themselves and others. They enjoy details and logic; they are very analytical in nature. Because they internalize information, they analyze issues over and over again. They perform in a precise and systematic way. They desire neatness and organization, feeling that messiness equates poor quality; likewise, neatness equates high quality. Logical Thinkers are very precise in the tasks on which they work and how they spend their time. They plan and organize all areas of their life. Tardiness tends to annoy them and disruptions are not easily tolerated.”
Can you spot the dangerous trap?
“They analyze issues over and over again.”
The problem with this is not the reflective analysis; I’d argue that is a strength. But to get stuck in analysis and never move forward into action – that’s the trap.
Overanalysis can lead quickly to paralysis.
Rarely does a leader have a 100% confidence level when it comes to tough decisions. The easy ones, sure, but not the ones that we can tend to agonize over. What do you do when you face one of these? Do you analyze the data and all possible outcomes, waiting for that 100% confidence level?
You’ll miss the window for optimal performance if you do.
Analysis is important; key in fact. But if it doesn’t lead to movement, to executing a plan, then it’s wasted.
Is there a decision that you know needs to be made, but you’re stuck in the overanalysis phase, waiting for that 100% confidence?
It’s time to move out. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the great.