Mike Tyson on Planning

Have You got a Backup Plan?

What's your Plan B?

Despite his outrageous and controversial behavior, Mike Tyson wisely observed “everyone has a plan B until they get hit.”
He should know. Of 50 professional fights he won 44 with knock outs. Tyson was the first heavyweight boxer to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles simultaneously.

Having a plan is important. However, having a process for what you will do when things go awry is crucial.
I remember Peter Drucker back in 2000 at one of our leadership meetings saying “anyone can come up with a strategy. The tough part is execution.”

Plan B is Simple

You don’t need an elaborate document or to hold a major workshop (although for critical strategic plans you may).

  1. List your Plan A assumptions and identify what are known facts, unknown facts, or facts presumed to be true.
  2. Based on this create a simple bullet point list of milestones, things to verify and potential derailers.
  3. Identify the kind of feedback that would signal things are not going as planned…. an early warning system.
  4. Document some of the alternate actions you could deploy in these situations.
  5. Make sure everyone on the team understands the plan, knows their role and is committed to the execution.
  6. Insist that everyone regularly shares their knowledge, status, and observations.

The Benefits

  1. Everyone on your team will subconsciously and consciously be alert to potential problems
  2. Issues will be recognized earlier
  3. Decisions will be made faster
  4. Team actions will happen quicker
  5. Your customers will respond more positively
  6. You will save time, money and improve the bottom line

Spending some time identifying potential problems and barriers up front does not diminish having a positive attitude and focus. However it will reduce the impact of problems and speed the time to respond to issues if and when they occur.

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Related posts:

  1. Cris Carter re leadership on Mike & Mike In the Morning

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