Growing up in Las Vegas, I appreciate the beauty and opportunity of the buffet. One day recently, for lunch, I wanted turkey, so I headed to my favorite buffet. I walked in with the sole intent of dining on roasted turkey. As I headed to the carving station, I survey the other tasty selections offered. The pizza was just pulled, hot from the oven. The Chow Mein appeared tired. When I arrived at the carving station, they are out of turkey. Now what?
Easy…. as I made my way through the line, I had crafted an alternate plan. Now, I moved to Plan B, the piping hot pizza.
Thankfully, the buffet offers options and an easy solution to my dining dilemma.
I recently read an article in which the author postulated that it is important to have a goal, Plan A. Some people will create contingency plans, Plan B, if you will. However, the author of the article wrote that the simple fact of having a Plan B means you are not committed to Plan A.
While I appreciated the author’s position, and enjoyed learning something new, I disagreed.
You can be fully committed to Plan A, 100 %, and still prepare a Plan B. Having a Plan B does not take away from or in any way diminish A.
Most of us believe we will live long lives. Does owning a life insurance policy mean we are not committed to Plan A, long life? No. Life insurance means that we realize that life does not always go along as we expect.
When we marry, we plan to remain together for the remainder of our lives and perhaps beyond. Does a prenuptial agreement mean we are not committed to the love of our life, Plan A? No. It means that in world in which we habitat, there are a myriad of legal and financial reasons for a prenuptial which in no way reflects our love or commitment.
To be clear, Plan B is not a euphemism for a boyfriend or girlfriend outside of your committed relationship! Plan B does not sabotage or undermine Plan A. It is in place if some external force interferes with your ability to succeed with Plan A.
Having Plan B means that you are prepared. Well prepared. You have assessed the landscape and are aware that there are market forces beyond your control.
You realize that there are variables of which you may be unaware or have no influence. The tornado that rips out sections of the highway in your delivery chain. The embargo that stalls your supply chain. Or, the new technology launched that makes a service you offer irrelevant.
While these are events you cannot control, you are able to control your response to them. You either implement or scramble to develop Plan B or lose business. Having Plan B in place allows you to be nimble and continue business when, for whatever reason Plan A is no longer viable.
Be fully committed to Plan A, to reaching the sales goal, to reducing client wait time or whatever your goal. However, also be a leader prepared with contingency plans to help your team navigate when life takes twists and turns.