The Best Laid Plan

June 12, 2020

I wrote a post about a month ago speaking of the need to pivot when it comes to your plan in the Time of COVID. I have heard from many colleagues in the field who are in panic mode as they do not even have a plan to modify. While that is shocking in and of itself, I contend that it is never too late to create one.

I didn’t think that I would ever use Mike Tyson as an individual to draw a quote from. But, Tyson said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face”. Believe it or not, that actually resonated with me. One could use the quote as a commentary on what is happening during this worldwide pandemic. Or, philosophically, one could use the quote as a commentary on things in their life that aren’t going as expected. Perhaps it is your personal life or your career.

A plan is comparable to a bank balance. It is merely a snapshot at a certain time, with a set of assumptions engrained. It is most certainly going to change (either for the better or for the worse). Five-year plans, while great in theory, usually bear little resemblance to reality by Year Three as priorities, needs, and even resources, have likely shifted.

How to Start a Plan

So, for all of my colleagues out there who are paralyzed by not having a plan, write one! Maybe it is only for a month at a time (until we are back to the new normal, whatever that is). Maybe it is a 6-month plan that has a bit more of a strategy to it (rather than being purely tactical, as a one-month one likely is). Another benefit is that it keeps you accountable. Have you reached your goals set out in the plan? Why (or why not)?

It is okay to not accomplish everything in a plan. They are rarely recipe books that one can follow and produce a great cake afterward. There is usually tweaking, testing, changing direction, etc. Sometimes missing your mark is due to forces outside your control (a worldwide pandemic, for instance) or sometimes it is due to lack of focussed effort. In any event, realize that not everything goes according to plan all of the time.

There are times, however, when your plan works well. Kudos to you for creating something realistic and achievable! To quote a brilliant strategist, Hannibal Smith (from the 80’s television show The A-Team). “I love it when a plan comes together!”

Until next week