Planning

Mess

Have you ever noticed how frustrating it gets when your plans don’t go the way you expect them to go?  Have you ever gotten frustrated to the point where you cannot figure out how you got to where you are, no idea of how to get back on track, and just want to quit and hide?

Don’t feel bad we all get that way. We look at others on an outing, on a Saturday afternoon, and they look so much in control. We had problems with the store being out of what we wanted to buy, the kids having problems and being fussy in the car, or pets who decide they want to play chase and tag with you and run out the gate just as everybody’s getting into the car.

What do we do about our plans going wrong?  We learn to laugh a little. We understand these things happen. And, not to get upset every time something doesn’t go the way we desire.

Now you’re starting to think, “How did the pros do it?”  As a retired Master Sergeant, I’m here to tell you, there is no corporation better planning than the US military.  And yet, everyone in the US military who has ever been part of building a plan can tell you one thing, plans will generally fall apart with the first enemy contact.

You think I’m kidding you. I assure you I am not. We all develop our plans.  We plan the best we can.  We work with all our prayers, talismans, and other rituals to ensure things go right. And yet, in the end, there is always something that goes awry.

The question becomes, “Why do we do all of the work if we know at some point it will fall apart?”  The answer is simple, knowing that things will generally fall apart, you plan anyway. In that planning, you are continuously looking for the what-ifs, the contingents, the “if this” happens I will “do that.”

I’m not saying that you’re going to get lucky, although sometimes luck is involved. I’m not saying that you will think of absolutely everything. It’s rare. What I’m saying is, the more you plan, and the more you look at the contingencies, the better you will understand.

In understanding, you will see strong spots and weak spots. Having a heads up on strong and weak areas will make your decisions during the execution of the plan much better.  The decisions and changes are now based on what you learned during your preparation. What I’d like to suggest is make the best plans possible.

Every time I plan I know the plan won’t run as predicted. I do not know exactly what will happen to change the plan. I do know what options are available, and I can make much better’s decisions.

Ever planned, and the preparations made changes and decisions easier to make?  If you would like to share something about how planning saved the day when plans went awry, Please, give us a response and tell us what happened.

Author: Mike Balof

A retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Mike used to lay in bed at night and worry about what would happen if his plant closed or found himself without a job. One day his plant closed. Rather than panic and hysteria (OK, maybe a little) Mike found himself carried away on the adventure of his life. Mike started with the best job he ever had working at Home Depot. He spent 8 years working with job seekers at a local workforce center, helping them to find employment. He then started his own company developing courses, writing books and urging others to follow their own paths into the future. Mike holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Business Management, earned through the University of Phoenix and an AAS degree in Electronics Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Mike is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society.

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