Plan. Do. Celebrate. Rest.

Of these four work seasons:
What are you best at?
What do you default to?
What gets the least of your attention?

If you are like me and the team of partners where this conversation came up last month in Council, you excel at the “Plan” and “Do.” And if we’re honest, mainly the “Do.” Planning is necessary but nice to have – according to this convo. (Everybody has a plan till you get punched in the face – right?)

Uh … I’m usually onto the next thing. Good that we accomplished that goal – climbed that mountain. I’ve been waiting for you all to get here so we can conquer the next mountain. So let’s move on please – more planning and doing to do.

Uh … how am I supposed to rest when there is so much to do? What is rest anyway? All this work-life balance crap is just that – a fart in the wind.
Yeah, I get it.

Plan. Do. Celebrate. Rest.

It’s easy to roll by the last two in this list, but when you miss one of these steps, you run into trouble.
The hamster wheel, the whirlwind, the grind. Many names for the same thing: the plan-do action cycle. No celebrating, no rest.


Why don’t you celebrate? What should you celebrate? How? When?
When you are always looking ahead, it’s hard to be present in the moment. Your team sees this, and at first, grudgingly goes along, and then it’s a part of your culture. Companies built on constant crisis, mountain climbing, take the next hill strategies can be unhealthy, have high turnover, and create a workplace where everyone defines themselves by the job. It’s OK to have seasons of sprinting, but you can’t sprint a marathon.
If you are not a celebrater – then you need to find one in your company.
Who should be the celebration manager?


A partner in a team just got back from a month-long sabbatical. He and all of the executives take one every year.
Read that again.
It didn’t happen overnight, but there was a goal of rest, and they challenged each other and guess what – the business didn’t die – but thrives in it.

You know the value of rest, so I don’t need to quote stats or the benefits. However, if you don’t remember what rest feels like, then you know you need to create a rest space in your life.
The Israelites took every 7th year off resting the land. We used to take entire Sundays off for family and friends. There wasn’t a S-Monday – where Sunday brain turns to Monday work around 4 PM and worker mode sets in.
I know you just took a vacation, but how do you rest after a big win? Does your team get a breather or is it onto the next!?!?

Celebration = Acknowledgement. Rest = Recharge.

Celebration and rest don’t require a huge party or expense for every little win or a month-long sabbatical. Still, they do require planning and doing to schedule and be intentional – so lean into your strengths and add the two pieces of work cadence that will improve your culture, team, morale, and fun of working for and at your company.

Dan Cooper
Post by Dan Cooper
August 12, 2021
Dan Cooper co-founded ej4, a video-based online training company, in 2003, and was its CEO until selling in 2012. During his time with ej4, he grew the company from a startup to a nationally-recognized firm, serving clients including Pepsi-Cola, Dr. Pepper Snapple, Honeywell, Monsanto and Syngenta. Channel partners included SAP and Oracle. As of the 2012, ej4 was serving 1,000+ customers, delivering millions of program views, was highly profitable and debt-free. Today, he is the CEO of Acumen, a mastermind community platform built for CEOs and Owners of strong and growing companies. He and his wife, Ali, have three children and attend Cure of Ars church in Leawood, KS. Dan enjoys running, all things soccer — coaching, playing and watching —and burning all types of meat on the backyard barbecue grill.