Planners, Doers and Social Media

After much observation and questioning, I have come to classify people into two groups: Planners and Doers. This may seem a stereotype, and it probably is, but bear with me.  Most people I talk to can definitely place themselves into either one camp or the other.

Let’s start with The Planners: You know these folks. They think, analyze, request more data and then reassess their assessment. Then something changes – Oh no! After a moment of panic and deep breathing, they get to work evaluating their contingencies and updating the plan.  These folks plan and plan and plan but actually don’t accomplish very much. Planners are important and we need them. Without them the Doers would be running around like chickens with their heads cut off! Remember the hit series Friends? The character Monica, played by Courtney Cox, was the epitome of a Planner. She had her life planned out from the time she was 12 years old. Not only did she plan her life, but her friends’ lives as well. Everyone loved Monica because she was practical and you could always count on her to “have a plan.”

Now let’s look at The Doers: These folks, on the other hand, must be doing something. Anything. It doesn’t matter what they do as long as they are “moving the needle” and “making progress.” Because of their energy, others jump on the bandwagon and everyone starts doing things. The issue is whether the Doers are doing the right things. Back to the Friends example – Phoebe, as opposed to Monica was the quintessential Doer. She did whatever came to mind, whenever it came to mind. Everyone loved Phoebe because she was spontaneous and full of energy.

The point is, when it’s your business, you need to be both a Planner and a Doer.  You get to walk the tightrope between both.  And that’s the biggest challenge – balancing between strategy and tactics, planning and doing.  When we talk about social media most of the discussion is centered on whether you have a FaceBook page, a fan page or a Twitter account.  I’m here to tell you that it almost doesn’t matter.

How do you know if you need a FaceBook page or a LinkedIn profile or FriendFeed if you haven’t decided what your ultimate goal is?  If we don’t start there, you will waste a lot of time and energy focusing on the wrong things – things that don’t support your goals, or things you simply can’t, or shouldn’t execute.