There’s always a Plan B- Our Personal Motto

By April 8, 2013Business

Linkedin’s ‘Best Advice I Ever Got’ postings by thought leaders offers fascinating reading.  Let’s face it, words of advice from some of the most successful people…aren’t we all just a little curious on what drove them to success and the wisdom they have to share?

Here’s a quick summary if you didn’t get a chance to read them:

“True success comes from self-power”  Deepak Chopra

“If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me”   Naomi Simson

“You can do anything you set your mind to”  Jeff Weiner

“Learn to Listen to your team” Jim Kim

In her “What I learned from Jack Welch hanging up on me” post, Beth Comstock is witty and charming, as she explains how Jack told her she was too abrupt.  She needed to take time to wallow in it; get to know people; find out what’s important to them; take time to connect with them; and it would make her a better leader.  She also explained how she still has to remind herself of that advice from time to time.

So try it – what’s the best advice you ever got?  What’s the little voice in your head during challenging times?

It’s cliched, but my parents who worked at modest, middle class jobs, offered me this advice to live by:

Nothing worth having comes without hard work.

Read the background on successful people and you’ll know success didn’t just fall into their laps.  That, and it seems there’s an extra hard work gene in those leaders.

The posts also made me look at the business of events and a motto we’ve learned to live by: There’s always a Plan B.

As I’m writing this, I remember bestowing those words of wisdom on my kids, and one particular ‘life lesson’ moment when my eldest daughter was in a rhythmic gymnastics competition. All was ready: the costumes, the equipment, etc.  We’d made the one-hour drive to the venue, arriving to check in with her group.  I made my way to the spectator area to await her performance. Minutes later, she appeared in front of me in tears. In her hand was one of her ribbons for her performance, soiled with red juice that had spilled in her bag.  I looked at her crumpled face.  Without providing you with tmi on rhythmic gymnastics, there are some important factors. The ribbon is sized to the gymnast, and created by the gymnast; and so, my daughter had toiled away at producing a ribbon of beauty. For the panel of judges, a soiled ribbon would most surely mean costly deductions.

“Okay,” I told her, “We have time to fix this.”  We made a call to a friend who wasn’t scheduled to compete until later that day, and asked if they could rush an emergency replacement ribbon out to us.  Afterwards I reminded her, “You know, before we panic, we need to think of what we can do, and remember there’s always a Plan B”. I wonder if my daughter still remembers that day and my sage advice.

It’s something I’ve taken with me into business and personal challenges.  Before crumbling in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, think of your Plan B.  And if resorting to your Plan B means you’ve had to start over again, remember this: Nothing worth having comes without hard work.