MVP: Assume that things will not go as planned.
Pam and I spent most of last week backpacking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park here in Western North Carolina (WNC). On Tuesday we made a 3,000 foot, five-mile ascent to Clingman’s Dome, the highest point in the park and on the Appalachian Trail.
It was a challenging but glorious hike. Our campsite was still eight miles away, but it was a steady downhill trail that we thought would be easy based on the map.
You already know where this is going.
About a mile of the trail was under water and we hopped from stone to stone, trying to keep our feet dry.
For another couple of miles, the trail was barely a foot wide and roots and rocks hid under a bed of dry fall leaves.
It was a grueling hike, both physically and mentally. It was made worse by the fact that we hadn’t accounted for the difficulty of the trail and that is where the leadership lesson is.
Like implementation plans, maps can be deceiving. Just because things look like they should be easy doesn’t mean they will be.
In any change initiative, count on things going wrong because they probably will.
And when they do, you will need to slow down.
Today’s intention: Think about the big plans you had in the fall and where things are now. What surprises did you encounter? If there have been challenges, have you been able to adjust and adapt, or have you just slogged on?