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It Will Go Wrong

Anticipating Issues in Business


I love a good home remodeling show. There is something about their ability to completely redo a home in a single hour of my life that tickles my sense of achievement. 

There is no way this could go wrong...

Every show is the same:

  • People have unrealistic expectations

  • Things go sideways

  • Compromises are made

  • The home is beautiful


While these might be slightly contrived, I do think there is a business lesson here. 

Despite your budgeting, expertise, and planning, you’re going to run into issues. 


Many leaders might be thinking:

Can’t we overcome this? Can’t we make the perfect, foolproof plan? Maybe we just need the right people in place. If we just spend more time and do more research, there is no way we’re going to run into issues! We can not afford issues!


As a leader, the best thing you can do is anticipate issues— not just to prevent them, but to manage them when they arrive. 

I guess it is possible to pull off a big undertaking without a single snag, but my experience suggests it is unlikely. 


So what do we do with this knowledge? Throw our hands up and abandon big projects altogether? Not try hard because there is no point?


From watching leaders within my organization, the secret is going after those big projects, but getting comfortable with crises. As with the home shows, the problems are usually survivable and outcomes look great.


As a leader, the best thing you can do is anticipate issues— not just to prevent them, but to manage them when they arrive. 


Because, they will arrive. It’s just a question of when. 



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