Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail


If you’re active and alive in your business, then chances are high that you’ll run into uncomfortable situations from time to time.

These challenges may come in the form of unmotivated employees, customer demands, or unmet expectations on your part or the part of those with whom you are dealing.

You know by now that ‘reacting’ is not in your best interest. Yet you still force solutions quickly to save time, only to regret your haste later on.

No matter what crazy situations my clients get themselves into, the key to their success is in creating a solid plan of action and having the confidence to deliver that plan in a timely manner.

Granted, when you are in the heat of the battle with a fire hydrant of issues coming at you, taking time to come up with a plan may not be your first choice. However, time spent in analyzing your situation and planning how to best handle it will benefit you in the long run.

Here are my Top ‘7’ Tips for creating your own plan next time that fire hydrant unleashes on you:

Gain clarity. Step back from your situation in order to see it more clearly. What is the real issue? How severe is it? Is this ongoing or a onetime event?


Decide who’s involved. At first, you may think the entire organization needs to know of this challenge. Relax, be specific. Who really needs to be informed of your challenge, or who needs to be involved in creating your plan? Be discerning.


Reflect on the past. When have you been in this situation before? How did you handle it? What worked or didn’t work? What did you learn?


Seek advice. Who has been in a similar situation? Who has the expertise to help you see this new challenge in a different light? Who knows the players, who can possibly help you look at it through a different lens? People love to be asked to help, especially from someone as accomplished as you.


Run through scenarios. There is never only one plan. Think of at least three scenarios. One may be tough-love, one softer, one humorous (never sarcastic); or one leaving you out entirely and handing the challenge off to a subordinate or superior.


Know your audience. You’ve created an excellent plan. It is well-thought-out, and you’ve rehearsed it to perfection. How will the individual(s) you deliver your plan to react? Will they be shocked, angry, puzzled, offended, or happy that you’ve come up with this brilliant solution? What questions will they ask? Be prepared.


Deliver your plan in a timely manner. Often, too much time has lapsed by the time my clients come up with their ingenious plan and they fail to execute it. Don’t let this happen to you. If something is bothering you, know that it is worth your time to solve it sooner rather than later.


The good news about challenges and getting yourself into sticky situations is this: you are out there making things happen, not sitting back allowing or waiting for something to happen. You are a pioneer, a risk taker, not satisfied with the way things were done yesterday.

I applaud you and your success. Just have a plan for when things don’t go 100 percent your way.

Master Executive & Leadership Coach Ann Golden Eglé, MCC, has steered highly-successful individuals to attain greater results since 1998. President of Golden Visions & Associates, LLC, Ann can be reached at 541-385-8887 or


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