Visions, Plans, and Hallucinations

I love pithy quotes that people regularly share.

A frequently quoted proverb from Zig Ziglar on setting goals and time management:

A goal without a deadline is just a dream.

Now, if you subscribe to “SMART” goal methodology, which many of you do, then you already know that goals have an infinitely better chance of being successfully accomplished if they are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely.

Yeah, yeah… we know that already…

Yet still, we concoct plans without specific measurements and realistic deadlines. The reason? Simple… accountability. Personal responsibility. Both of which are mitigated when dates aren’t present, deadlines aren’t set. If we don’t really commit, we never really fail. It’s an institutional or systemic obstacle that interferes with our success, not the fact that I demonstrated a clear lack of commitment by not establishing that deadline…

That level of accountability, frankly, is just scary to some.

But it’s necessary if we are to accomplish a damn thing in furtherance of ouyr goals, our plans, our objectives. Even better, let’s quote Steve Case of AOL fame: A vision without a plan for execution is probably just a hallucination. Not necessarily an AOL fan, but I’ll be using that pithy little tidbit again.

But that’s just me…


Kevin Berchelmann


  1. says

    Hmmm, ok, but seems to me that you're demonstrating that some of those pithy quotes are dead-on. A goal w/o a timeline is just a dream, and if we don't give something an appropriate priority, then it's not a real objective — it's just a wanna-have.

    If I can have it w/o sacrifice, then yes; otherwise, no go.

    But you're right in one respect — we all do it at one time or another…

    Thanks for replying, Bo.


  2. says

    I have a little different perspective on this. Although I don't dispute what you say, I am not at all sure that for everyone, or even most, that it is a fear of failure that prevents us from committing, at least in the normal sense. I'll use myself as an example.

    I have a list of things that I call goals that I want to accomplish. These goals in many cases are noble, some are pretty selfish and others are just stuff that I should do. Why then don't I do as you suggest? Not because I am afraid that I will fail, but instead because I have not allowed them to be the priority they need to be for me to commit to them. When planning my business, life or anything else I have learned, as I am sure you and all others reading this have learned, that a plan without a good dose of reality figured in is worthless (am I really willing to commit and make this happen). If something is really important to me I'll make it happen and it usually involves a high level of personal accountability as well as some help with accountability from others.

    So I guess what I am saying is that fear of failure is not what drives my not committing because fear implies a "what if", it is the knowledge that failure is imminent (almost guaranteed) if the goal does not have the right priority and developed with a good dose of reality.

    As you say – "but that's just me!"

  3. says


    Yeah, that's another — and a good one.

    Some of those things, though trite, have some value, I suppose. Provided they keep us focused on something meaningful.

    By and large, though, they seem to be just consultant/academic fodder to use in lieu of anything substantive.

    If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, then baffle 'em w/bullshit sort of thing…

    But that's just me…

    Thanks for commenting.


  4. Tony Sommer says

    Kevin –

    Entertaining as always, as well as thought provoking.

    Another pithy one I've seen is "a sales call without a close is merely socializing."

    Plan. Then move and do.


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