Plan, Plan, Plan

As I am sure for everyone else, Covid brought some very new challenges. In the chapter “Plan” in Extreme Leadership, Jocko speaks on the importance of planning and being prepared. The entire time all I could think about is my situation at work. 

During covid, my job shifted into a operations/support staff role. We were here to help anyone with the plans to bring K-12 students back to campus. My team and I were to learn and keep updated on the rules and regulations the governor implemented and help execute. Our district was much different than others and chose to stay virtual till this month. We had planned on coming back many times, but due to the increased numbers in Covid cases, we had to remain 100% virtual. My team and I have stretched our planning skills. I never knew planning for the unknown was so hard and exhausting. There were periods we would find ourselves planning for 4-5 different scenarios. Once we had all those figured out, there would be some minor shift, and it was back to the drawing board.

Covid gave us the ability to learn, work together and grow our expertise in the situation. Now I can look at all the angles at the drop of a hat. Now, when presented with a problem 90% of the time, we have already considered it. 

What I found the most helpful in this journey was being able to ask for advice. Having the ability to take something I worked so hard on and then allow another professional to tear it all to pieces potentially. I have to admit. This was hard at first. I often poured so much time into the work only to have one little thing thrown off completely. But once the shock of that was over, I now welcome the feedback. I want to make my work the best I can, and collaboration is a great way to take something and make it even better.

Willink, J., & Babin, L. (2017). Extreme ownership: how U.S. Navy SEALs lead and win. Second edition. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

5 thoughts on “Plan, Plan, Plan

  1. Jae,

    Great post on the power of collaboration. Having more people provide feedback on a project can help identify those blind spots you might have. I had this happen to me last month. We’re working on getting our sportsbook fan caves online for booking. Initially, I only included a small number of people in the meeting. A couple of attendees forwarded the meeting planner to others. When I got the notification, I was annoyed. I wanted the discussion to be brief and felt more attendees would prevent it. By the end of the meeting, I was grateful the additional staff attended. They suggested a change in the process that will save the company money and create a better customer experience.



  2. Hello,

    That is very unfortunate that you and your team had to remain 100% virtual due to the number of cases. I am originally from Atlanta, Georgia and I remember talking to my little sister about them having the option to decide whether they wanted to attend online classes or to appear in person for their classes. COVID has indeed changed the retrospect of the world and brought along a lot of new challenges for especially teachers. Like you and your team did I think everyone can use this time and the pandemic to really improve and learn to communicate better and handle the worst of situations. Keep it up! Everyone appreciates the hard work you and your team are doing!


    Ty Harris


  3. Hi Jae,

    Wow, I can relate to your story! This past year has been an exercise in planning with minimal payoff. In our line of work, there is usually a familiar rhythm. You plan for an event, and you execute the event, repeat. This year it seems like it has been a constant loop of planning with no execution. The constant return to the drawing board has been frustrating, but like you, I can also plan for three or four different scenarios at once, and nothing can surprise me.
    One thing that has been a struggle recently has been balancing this course with work! With the “real world” ramping back up and work is in emergency mode, constantly keeping up with the weekly posts has been a struggle. Another instance of planning and not quite being able to follow through with it!


  4. Covid cause shifts in companies that they probably never thought would happen. I work on a college campus and shifting to strictly online was a slight challenge, because it had to be done so quickly. There was trying to reassure those students that felt they could only learn face-to-face that they’d still have the same support and making sure faculty knew how important it would be to remain visible (even if just through use of technology) for those students. Asking for help and learning to work as one unit became key in making sure the transition was successful. I think Covid also brough about new collaborations that will continue as we move forward.


  5. Jae, ‘

    Awesome job! I know COVID has thrown everyday norms into a spiral disaster. Things that we were once able to do back in 2019 beginning of 2020 are no longer the case. The powerful lesson of learning how to do adapt to change is such a hard thing to discover. But fortunate for you, you were able to figure out how to deal with unforeseen circumstances. Great job!


    A Avery Jones


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