I could hear the familiar rumble out of one of my open windows. Looking from my south view, all seemed to indicate another perfect day. Beautiful blue sky, not a cloud, and the leaves in the trees were without motion, as if in a beautiful fresh watercolor for all too enjoy.
But what then, was the thunder? I turned and look out of my west window, and beyond the overhead blue sky and bright sun to the west I could see the ominous dark indigo clouds of a coming storm. Quick, to the weather app I went, and found I was in the path of an appearing relentless storm. My prevailing thought of ending my workday with a long bike ride seemed in jeopardy at this point. Then my inner vision caught the remainder of my days plans, and details that now require some fast action. My evening event, outside of course will be altered. The car windows are open – Yikes! the umbrella is raised above the patio set. Daisy our trusted rescue dog and guardian of the bird feeders from squirrels was outside. And the reality of the coming storm was setting in. The plans in place from the earlier beautiful blue sky day were now in the trash bin.
This coming storm, and the changes in my plans were occupying my mind for the moment, but it also reminded me of the daily ritual every Leader lives through.
Great Planning requires an even greater Plan B
There are common threads to every leader I meet. Certainly the challenge of self awareness is near the top of the list. Engaging key employees, maintaining market competitiveness, preserving financial security are also favorites I have helped Leaders work through. But Great, or Rare Leaders also have an inner capacity for creating and energizing a “Plan B” for every ongoing strategy, or interruptions to the best laid plans. When I ask “what if this key employee would leave?” – “well, I have a plan for someone who has been developed to take over, so we do not miss a beat”, they will reply. Or I challenge “What if a competitor creates a market challenge you had not anticipated” – “I have a contingency for every conceivable challenge to where we are going. While not the preferred route, we can overcome most any challenge with our Plan B”.
I love digging even deeper and challenging these Rare Leaders on how they become even stronger Leaders in times of War or Peace, or in the face of a surprise approaching storm. This, is another mark, or competency of Rare Leadership. Even if the strategy plan, or contingency plan does not hold the specifics of Plan B, you must be able to think quickly, react promptly, and assertively apply alternatives to the coming storm. Yes, this is what a real Leader does, and it differentiates them from other normal day managers.
What’s your Plan B Quotient for the coming storms?
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