“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” Henry Ford
There are a lot of crazy things going on in the world of business right now. If you are in a business that buys commodities such as lumber or steel, you know prices of these materials are soaring. If you own a small business or work in the service industry, you know that labor shortages are rampant. If you are trying to buy a house, you have probably been in bidding wars with multiple buyers. If your business is manufacturing, your company likely cannot keep up with demand. If you are in accounting, consulting, or a legal profession, you are seeing clients rushing to make decisions around these and other concerns. I could go on, but the point is this: the business world is experiencing some of the most profound uncertainty it has seen in years.
To compound the uncertainty, just a few months ago, unemployment was at an all-time high. The stock market was tanking, and businesses were closing. Economists were forecasting a long and deep recession, and social upheaval was prevalent.
With everything changing so rapidly, how do we manage all this uncertainty? How do we function, compete,execute, and deliver in our businesses with all these obstacles that seem to swing wildly from good to bad, from horrible to excellent, and from high tolow— seemingly over and over again?
I read a quote the other day on Twitter that caught my attention. It was credited to Warren Buffet, but I’m not sure if it actually came from him. It said, “An idiot with a plan can beat a genius without a plan.”
Making plans and creating goals, then diligently and consistently sticking to them until they are executed, continues to be the best way to push through obstacles and uncertainty. The world is not a certain place. Those who try to predict what will happen and when are merely fools. But those who develop measurable and achievable goals and plans to get where they want to go, and to be what they want to be, will be best prepared to handle the obstacles that markets and the economy present.
The business world always has frightening elements. There is never a perfect situation or scenario. Goals and plans can also be full of imperfections. But setting goals and implementing plans will ensure the greatest certainty of success, regardless of what obstacles come your way.