Imagine that you’re standing in the middle of an intersection with cars coming at you from every direction. It’s obvious that you’re in danger and that moving from the intersection is your only option. The problem, though, is that the landscape looks the same no matter which way you turn. It’s impossible to tell which road will take you where you want to go.
Every executive stands at this dangerous intersection, not once but many times. Some of them never make a choice and stay at the intersection, watching their businesses or departments struggle and lose valuable market share. Some executives guess which road to take and only find out they are on the wrong one when it’s too late. And some guess right, have some initial success, and then lose their way.
But there are still others who anticipate the intersection and – taking into account possible dangers, opportunities and errors – determine beforehand which road to take. This last group is comprised of the planners. They’re the executives who realize that planning is one of leadership’s best tools, as well as one of the best ways to put the odds of success in their favor.
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