The ABCs of Planning

I’m a planner.  I agree that “failing to plan is planning to fail.”  I like to have a schedule for my day, my week, and my month.  When traveling, I like to have the plan detailed in advance so I know where I’m headed and where I’ll be staying.  Admittedly, I’m probably a bit boring.  I could be more spontaneous.  I could use a little more “throwing caution to the wind.”

Even the best planners must be prepared for the plan to fail.  No plan, no matter how well thought-out, is ever perfect.  Either the plan could be flawed or the execution could not go as anticipated.  So, as leaders who plan, what do we do when our plans don’t go as expected? This weekend I heard a good saying to remind us that even the best plans can go awry, “If plan A doesn’t work, don’t worry, there are 25 more letters in the alphabet.”

As leaders, it’s important that we have contingency plans to help us move forward if our original plans don’t work. We also need the persistence and resilience communicated by this phrase.  Leaders never give up.  When things don’t go as planned, they adjust and try another plan.  And if that doesn’t work, they try again.  They keep trying, keep planning, keep executing, until they get it right.

Planning is an important function of a leader.  And it’s okay to be a little boring if it means you are helping your organization develop the goals, objectives, and strategies that will help them succeed.  So keep planning.  And if your plans fail, plan again, execute, and do it all again if necessary.  Never give up; and remember there’s always another letter in the alphabet.

Thanks for reading,


P.S. – Check out my website at and keep me in mind if you hear of any opportunities to share my thoughts on leadership.

Ways to follow Dr. Jim Earle:
Twitter – @jvearle
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Facebook – JVEarleConsulting
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