Jamie was excited. It was time for the party and she went to greet her guests with joyful anticipation of a good time.
People started to trickle in. They were not as many as she had hoped, but she kept her spirits up. Bill stood by her side encouraging her as she welcomed their guests. After a while, she couldn’t help but noticing something odd. People did not seem to be enjoying themselves. There was no interaction.
Joyful Anticipation Was Not Enough
To make matters worse, they were running low on some of the food—the type that she thought were fillers and so she didn’t order much of it. But, it turned out people really like that. What happened? It was evident that Jamie’s joyful anticipation was not enough for a good party.
Indeed, what happened? What happened is that Jamie planned without thinking of whom she was inviting. It was a bad plan.
Joyful Anticipation + a Bad Plan=Inadequate
Some people think a bad plan is better than no plan. Have you ever felt that way? Just plan. Then get excited as if joyful anticipation is enough. However, joyful anticipation is not a plan and will never make up for a bad plan.
Here is the deal. A bad plan is a bad plan and will lead to less than desirable results. The only time it will not matter is if you are just doing to be doing. A bad plan works when your only goal is to say that you did something. The outcome doesn’t matter. However, as a leader, you know that the outcome is important.
Once you have established that the outcome matters, joyful anticipation may be fuel but it will definitely not be the engine. Fuel by itself is useless. Thus you want to have an effective plan that moves you toward your outcome.
Joyful Anticipation + People=Effective
In our opening story, Jamie evidently had some sort of plan. However, one key thing was missing from it—the people. She had not given thought to who was coming. Thus, there was no plan for helping them to get to know each other and mingle with each other. In addition, her food choice did not reflect their preferences. In other words, she had a bad plan that was inadequate and ineffective.
Now, there are other aspects of an effective plan, but this is a key one. It is foundational.
The questions is, therefore, have you ever been Jamie? As you finalize your plans for 2019, are you being Jamie? Could you be planning without adequate consideration of the people whom you are seeking to reach?
People. They are the ones you serve. They are the ones who matter. Think about whom you are called to reach, then plan with them in focus. This is a key ingredient of an effective plan.
How are you planning with the people in mind?
Photo courtesy of jerrykimbrell10 //Pixabay.Com
Dr. Claire is a spiritual mentor and coach who helps busy business and corporate leaders beat overwhelm and stress to increase productivity and improve their relationships.