When you put the effort into creating a plan, you want to plan for a success! After all, who wants to be part of a plan that fails? No one that I know. So, how can you give your plans a high degree of opportunity to go extremely well?
We all know the basics of proper planning—things like stating your desired outcome, listing the resources you will need, creating a timeline, and writing an implementation plan. But what about the “gottcha’s” lurking out there? How can you be ready for roadblocks that will be thrown across your path?
By anticipating possible barriers and forming a contingency plan, you can be somewhat prepared for the unexpected, but the thing about the unexpected is that you’re not looking for it. So the ability to be flexible and fast on your feet when the surprises come is critical in navigating a successful path to overcome your barriers.
For instance, when I led my staff in planning to move into a new building, we were full of anticipation to finally be able to conduct 7 business in a beautiful Corporate Learning Center. After outgrowing a small wing of a campus building, our college had worked hard to fulfill the desires of our business community with a facility designed around the community’s learning needs. Resources were pulled together in the true spirit of partnership. Furnishings, systems, networks, and personnel were ready, and we created a timeline and implementation plan for the move.
But with all of these pieces coming together, we didn’t predict the many days of rain, tropical storms, and even threats of a hurricane rearranging our timeline. We had so much water that we began to feel like ducks! With the weather roadblocks, we had to regroup and adjust our plans for the big move while conducting business as usual to meet our clients’ needs, not to mention managing the tension and stress that come with such a big undertaking. We paddled furiously to keep up appearances, just like ducks do when they paddle with their little webbed feet under the water while gliding on the surface.
Surprises are always challenging, but we can expect challenges like these to be a normal part of any plan. It is in our reactions and positive 8 responses to these situations that we can still be successful even when it feels like our plans get rained out.
No one benefits from negative reactions to the detours to our plans and dreams; no one wants hear the complaining, so let’s don’t even go there! Take the roadblocks as opportunities to create new pathways to success. Order pizza, crank up the music, pack the moving boxes, hug each other, and watch it all come together. That’s what we did, and it was actually quite exhilarating! After all, it seems someone else was managing the timeline.
“Commit your work to the Lord and then your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3 NLT