When Things Don’t Go as Planned


“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” —Dwight D. Eisenhower

Even the best laid plans go sideways once in a while. In fact, you can almost always count on something not going according to plan. This is why Dwight D. Eisenhower’s above quote is so meaningful; you can’t count on the plan, but planning is everything. Here’s why:


Planning allows you to be prepared. If you know where you are, and you know where you want to end up, then you can start looking at the options for getting there. There is almost always more than one way to achieve a goal. The thought and research that goes into planning helps you to understand the multiple options available to you.


Flexibility is the key to responding instead of reacting when things don’t go according to plan. If you become dead-set on following your plan; step by step; from beginning to end, you will lack the flexibility necessary to adapt the plan to new or unforeseen circumstances. It is this flexibility that allows you to continue moving forward toward your goal even when your plan falls short.

Team strength

Planning gives you the opportunity to assess the strength of each of your team members. Knowing their strengths in advance gives you an advantage when things start going sideways. Who will be your best pinch-hitter in different situations when things don’t go according to plan? Don’t leave yourself scrambling at the last minute trying to figure out what to do; know who to turn to when the going gets tough.

Roll with the Punches

The key is to plan, but also plan for your plan to break-down along the way. Be prepared, build flexibility into your plan, and know your team member’s strengths. When things don’t go as planned, fall back on your planning and roll with the punches.

© 2017 Elizabeth Stincelli

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.


Author: lizstincelli

I am Liz Stincelli and I am passionate about recognizing, inspiring, and igniting the leader in each of us. I am the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where I specialize in helping management teams learn new ways of looking at problems and finding new approaches to discovering solutions. I hold a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership. I offer 20+ years of pro-active operations management, problem-solving, team-building, human resources, accounting, and business administration experience in a variety of industries. I serve on the Editorial Review Board for the Independent Journal of Management and Production and the Journal of Managerial Psychology. I have also been a guest lecturer at the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business Westminster College. You can learn more about me by reading my blog here at: www.stincelliadvisors.com or www.engagenow.me. Connect with me on Twitter @infinitestin, google.com/+ElizabethStincelli on Google+, and https://www.linkedin.com/in/lizstincelli on LinkedIn. You can contact me by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

One thought on “When Things Don’t Go as Planned”

  1. Liz, this is a pointed post. Flexibility is key and knowing there is more than one option makes things less tense. Thanks for the reminder.

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