2020/2021: The Only Bad Plan is NO Plan

Ben Martinez Change, Change Management, COVID-19, Leadership

2020 is winding down and at the start of this year, none of us except Bill Gates had COVID-19 listed as an external force to deal with. This time last year if someone mentioned Corona to me, I would have immediately thought of the beer, Mexico and some chips and salsa.

Fact: You, me, the President and President elect had no plan. All we had was a bad plan because we had no plan.

I am currently coaching a senior executive to create a plan and execute it. For some reason, he is waiting on the CEO and Board of Directors to tell him the plan. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that assume nobody has it all figured out and nobody is going to have a plan for you, nor should it be someone else’s job to create a plan for you.

My job is to create a plan for my business, myself and my family. Your job is to do the same. Most of life will be your ability to react and respond to factors outside of your control.

The list of factors outside of your control goes on and will continue to go on. COVID-19, gas prices, weather, politics, bad or good boss’s behaviors – you can’t control any of it. 

I can control how I respond, the words I use to deal with people who act badly, the actions I take to deal with defeat, or the behaviors I bring to the party every day. I can control it. 

2020 taught us (willingly or unwillingly) on how to deal with change. I adjusted my service offering for Ramp Talent recruiting this year and changed up how I shipped coffee to consumers too. The good news is that I survived and came out better but with memories and a few scars to show that I survived 2020 with no plan. 

The bad news is that I had no plan for COVID-19, so I had a bad plan. 

As I look to close out 2020 strong and prepare for 2021, I have learned that my job is to design a business that I can bring people into for work and let them execute based on the current environment. 

I must show my small team and clients through my actions and behaviors that I am on top of the chaos that will keep coming our way and good behaviors mixed with practice will bring more business. Nobody wants to hire someone who is stressed or can’t handle stressful situations. 

My job is to create a plan to better deal with chaos. Get more sleep, exercise, thinking time but do the work. I can control how I deal with chaos and if I have a plan on how to respond to chaos, it’s better than NO plan.

My hunch tells me that going forward – times will get more strange. We should expect some strangeness but be right here, right now, and live in the moment. Be ready to respond with some type of plan. 

Cheers to anyone focused on closing out 2020 and already looking to 2021. You are on it.