Task at hand: This week I’m thinking about strategy. We all have some strategy – some series of actions we employ to achieve a desirable outcome. One question that I am frequently asked is, “What makes a strategy successful?” My answer usually is, “If it works, it’s successful!” I am joking, but only half so. Ultimately, your strategy has to work and you have to achieve your goals; otherwise, I would seriously consider switching strategies.
In today’s Sunday Surgical Scrub, I’m going to give you my two tenets of any successful strategy: Planning and Execution. I plan like an economist, but execute like a surgeon. In planning, you have to employ some sort of analysis; whether it’s a simple pro/con list or a formal SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis, you have to bring your decision out of your personal vacuum and into context and consequence. Then, when all planning is done, go out and execute it. A personal example for me is in surgery where there is absolutely no time for uneasiness or hesitation – one has to fix the problem at hand – and it has to work! Similarly, when you have devised your plan, go and execute! I don’t much care for extraneous pressures when the time for action has arrived.
Critiques I have heard of this strategy is that it lacks a “reactionary” component when the environment changes. My response to this query is that I will take a good decision today over a perfect one tomorrow every time (thanks General Patton!). I know too many smart and gifted people who have become trapped by the creation of the perfect plan. Napoleon Bonaparte wrote: “Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in” – this beautifully summarizes the strategy.
So, no matter what goal you are trying to achieve, I say Plan and Execute! Don’t let time from one deviate the path of the other.
Medicine & Macula: A JAMA study released this week showed exercise is great at cancer prevention! The National Cancer Institute confirmed that exercise lowers the risk of many types of cancers. The study looked at 26 types of cancers in 1.44 million people and found that leisure-time physical activity was associated with lower risks of many cancer types. It is important to emphasize that most of these beneficial associations were evident – regardless of body size or smoking history – and thus should be encouraged for most people.
Check out the study here.
Gratis: Last week we launched the new website, davidalmeidamd.com, and I want to thank everyone for their support! Thanks to all the emails and interest in my research, speaking, medicine/ophthalmology/retina, and leadership – it was the main driver for the creation of the website. Let us now go and innovate together!
Always feel free to drop me a line with feedback or questions.
My best to you,