special-ops-boatI’ve been doing a big marketing project in the personal security field…

And while I’m not at liberty to disclose who this is for, or what the project is (yet), it’s definitely exciting.

And I’ve been exposed to a bunch of ideas that I don’t get exposed to every day.

The “guru” who I’m working with on this isn’t just a security expert.  He’s extended his high-level security background into some corporate training work, too.

Sometimes on security.  Sometimes on leadership.

And sometimes, he brings his security best practices into leadership training, as well…

Which is what he was talking about when he revealed to me…

How not to get killed — in business or in real life!

This concept comes from Special Ops.  These are people who execute highly dangerous missions.  Often covert.  Against heavily-armed targets.

They have to go in, accomplish an objective, and make it out without a member of the team getting killed.

Failure, for them, can mean death.

Puts business failure in a bit of perspective.

But I’ll tell you this…

If my life is on the line — I want to make sure I have a pretty dang bulletproof plan for how I’m going to accomplish my goal!

And that’s exactly what he picked up in working with Special Ops forces.

Now, contrast this with how the average business person plans to accomplish a goal.

We decide what we want to do.  We develop a ton of expectations of success, while wearing our rose-colored glasses.  (And thinking positive!)  Then, we go for the goal with gusto.

When we’re hit with setbacks, they’re often devastating.  And all-too-often, a business person will give up on their goal, in the final dark hours before the dawn of success.

I know this because I speak from experience.  For all my successes, I have a string of failures.  And in most cases, I quit too early, because I didn’t plan for setbacks.

If I were doing Special Ops, that would have gotten me killed — probably many times over.

How to make sure you accomplish your goals — with PACE planning…

Special Ops forces use the PACE acronym for better mission planning.

First, they identify their PRIMARY plan.  If everything goes right, this is what they’ll do.

Then, their ALTERNATE plan.  They look for the most common ways that their primary plan will go wrong, and identify how they’ll get out of it, and still accomplish their goal.

If the alternate plan goes wrong, they have a CONTINGENCY plan in place.  This is their last-ditch effort at accomplishing their goal successfully, if things start to get bad.

Then, if failure is inevitable, they have an EMERGENCY plan.  This is the exit strategy to minimize loss.

special-ops-boatSpecial Ops don’t plan for things to go right — they plan for what to do when things go wrong!

Can you truthfully and honestly tell me you know how you’ll react if everything goes wrong on your current project?

You have a plan A, but do you have plans B, C, and D — that recognize the likelihood of expected AND unexpected obstacles?

Do you have a plan for how you’re going to get out if everything goes to hell in a hand basket?

My bet is you don’t.  I don’t either.  Not in most cases.

And maybe we can get away with a little less because it’s not our life on the line.

However, we can all certainly do more to recognize that plans almost never work out the way we planned them.

If you’re serious about hitting your goals, it’s time for a little negative thinking…

In fact, there’s a book called The Positive Power of Negative Thinking that’s all about this.

The title is probably enough, now that you’ve read my essay.  But you could certainly dive deeper into the topic, if you feel it would be especially relevant.

Start to answer the question, on a regular basis, of, “What are the ways this could go wrong, and how will I respond to that?”

At the very least, you’ll be more prepared for your response if anything happens.

You can still expect the best.  But when you prepare for the worst, you’re more likely to get the best in the end.

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr

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