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Posted on Nov 9, 2018

10 Pitfalls That Planning Helps You Avoid

10 Pitfalls That Planning Helps You Avoid

Some leaders hate planning. To them it feels like a big waste of time, especially since everything changes in real life. Others argue that planning is a value embraced only by those who want control.

But most effective leaders live by the axiom:

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

The value of planning can be a leader’s trusted guardrail to ensure they avoid disaster. No one wants to intentionally lead others off the edge of cliff, or into harms way. So why take the risk. Invest the time in developing a suitable plan.

Here are 10 pitfalls that proper planning will help you avoid, and the associated benefits it offers.

  1. Misunderstanding of goals and objectives. Planning provides clarity.
  2. Missing critical input from key people. Planning delivers valuable insight.
  3. Making sub-optimal choices later. Planning ensures quality.
  4. Potential disagreements, especially over trivial issues. Planning brings peace.
  5. Paying more for last minute decisions. Planning is prudent.
  6. Unintended burdens on specific individuals. Planning preserves respect.
  7. Rash decisions and poor judgment. Planning produces discernment.
  8. Financial crisis of running out of cash. Planning safeguards resources.
  9. Potential for confusion in the midst of chaos. Planning maintains order.
  10. Emotional drain from unnecessary stress. Planning supplies freedom.

Of course, when it comes to achieving a goal, planning by itself is not the Holy Grail. Your plan may not lead you exactly to the desired outcome. But you continue moving forward in the stated direction.

Some examples:

  • When launching a new product, a company might miss its planned sales target. But it continues selling the product and adjusts its plans to achieve future targets.
  • In sports, two teams make a plan to win; yet only one does. Both teams learn from the game, improving their skills to win future games.
  • The number of people impacted by a church’s mission might be fewer than planned. But that doesn’t stop it from continuing its good work, and adjusting its plan to make an even greater impact in the future.

The value in planning is not in the achievement of a goal. It’s in setting a direction.

Planning = formulating a program for a definite course of action.

If you struggle with the whole notion of planning, consider the many pitfalls you’ll avoid, and the incredible benefits you’ll experience. It’s a value with pursing – now.