Winning Needs a Plan, Not Just a Vision

Rocky Wirtz, the owner of the Blackhawks for less than 2 years, declared that the team would be a winning franchise again. Then he took action to do something about it. He almost immediately moved to change everything about the team from the players, to home office staff, to media contracts. And just as important as winning the Stanley Cup (Congratulations Blackhawks!), is how he did it. He had a plan that had likely been formulating for years prior to his assumption of the team from his late father, Bill Wirtz.

I believe that the plan you lay out to achieve the win should be as strong as your winning idea. It should be tactical, multi-faceted, well thought out, and reviewed with others. Knowing HOW to reach your goals is critical if you realistically expect to reach them.

A financial advisor recently told me that he was going to write a book that was going to become a million-copy bestseller. Now that would be a big win! I was interested. “Wow, that’s awesome!” I said. “How are you going to sell that many books?” He then pointed to a poster board leaning up against the wall in his office...

It was what he referred to as his “Vision Board” that he had his assistant spend hours preparing for him. In the center of his “Vision Board” was a picture of Oprah Winfrey. “Oprah. That’s how I’m going to get there,” he said. Surrounding Oprah on the board was Larry King and other media personalities.

So to clarify, I asked him how he was going to get in touch with all of the media tycoons to get his book on their shows. He pointed to his assistant. “We’re going to call them. “

I walked out of his office thinking that I had just witnessed a real-life episode of “The Office.” Now it may be true that his book will get great media coverage and he will sell 1 million copies. The problem in my eyes is that if his book idea is so great, why doesn’t he spend more time on his plan? Getting on Oprah is not a new idea or anything close to a sure thing. Yet, that’s essentially his plan. To me, it seems his grand plan is nothing more than a grand dream that his assistant put on poster board. A truly great idea deserves a great plan - not a shot in the dark. Believing it’s achievable is a powerful first step, but without a powerful plan, it very well may remain a dream. Rocky Wirtz and the members of the Blackhawks have worked for years with the vision of the Stanley Cup. Rocky took the big steps to get it done. Does the quality of your plans to win match the quality of your winning idea?


Maribeth Kuzmeski, MBA President of Red Zone Marketing Maribeth is the President of the consulting firm, Red Zone Marketing. Maribeth and her firm consult with entrepreneurs on strategic business development, communication strategy and messaging. Maribeth is the author of 4 books including, "Red Zone Marketing: A Playbook for Winning All The Business You Want," has frequently appeared on TV and radio, and has written articles on marketing strategies for hundreds of publications. She regularly...

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