To some, this advice is going to sound obvious. To others, it might sound unnecessary. We’ve all seen it though. “That didn’t go as expected!” Not sure why? There was no plan. We decided to just “wing it”, and wing it we did.
There are some situations that don’t require much planning, for sure. There are also some situations that absolutely require a plan, and a good one. Several years ago I saw a great strategy for planning and it looked like this: “Over prepare, then go with the flow.”
It’s often the key to leading great meetings. Make sure your agenda has way too much on it. Allot yourself the same half an hour anyways. With an hour worth of content, you’ll leave your team wanting more (if the content is good enough). You over prepared. If a topic failed or moved quickly, you had a back up. If you didn’t make it through all the content, you have something to start your next meeting. Or, you can decide whether it was worth talking about or not anyways. Just make sure you get the most important topics in first.
Having a plan creates a vision.
It’s why goal setting can be so important. When we know where we are going, we can figure out the best way to get there. If we have absolutely no idea where we are going, we may end up in a bad neighborhood. We might run out of gas, or breakdown somewhere we’re uncertain of. Now, some folks like the spontaneous feeling of not having a plan. It can be fun, but there are many chances that aren’t worth taking.
In any event, don’t act surprised when things don’t go your way. It’s likely there wasn’t a good plan. If there was a good plan, that’s only 20%. The execution of the plan makes up the other 80%. Execute well, after you plan.