Getting something done

May 02, 2017

There are dreamers and planners, and then there are those who actually get something done. For every one of those who gets something done, there are 20 who can only talk about it.

Why do these people plan but fail to implement their ideas? Here are my thoughts:

  1. If you don’t try, you won’t fail. Failure isn’t fun. I think this is the number one reason people don’t chase their dreams. By not actually doing anything, they can maintain the fantasy about “what if” it’s successful. This fantasy is what drives them. Doing it could potentially ruin it. So don’t do anything.
  2. It’s hard work! The “doing” part takes time and real effort. A lot of people don’t want to put that out. Maybe they are lazy. Perhaps they are undisciplined. Or they may not actually have any time to devote to the implementation of whatever it is. But the bottom line is the same. Nothing gets done.
  3. They have gotten by without “doing” for so long – why “do?” These people still got their pay increased and positions elevated without being doers. They are well-educated and well-spoken, though, and that has been enough to distinguish them from their peers and move up.
  4. They are “above” doing. Some people think because they have a certain position in the firm, or degrees and registrations, or ownership, that they no longer have to do anything. They can just “direct others.” It’s not the way to garner respect from your team, however.
  5. They never learned how to “do.” People who didn’t grow up on a farm or have parents who were “do-it-yourselfers” or hobbyists or crafters or home renovators may just simply not have learned how to do anything. Everything they learned came from reading and they didn’t get the benefit of seeing how gratifying it is to actually do something.

Regardless of the “why” we don’t have more doers, A/E firms need them badly. Be sure to look for a history of “doing” when you hire and also be sure to recognize how valuable this characteristic is when doling out rewards.

Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at

This article is from issue 1193 of The Zweig Letter. Interested in more management advice every week from Mark Zweig, the Zweig Group team, and a talented list of other guest writers? Click here to subscribe or get a free trial of The Zweig Letter.

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.