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#LEADERSHIP IN THE NEWS: Planning an Prison Break?

#Leadership in the news: Planning a Prison Break?

By now, almost everyone has heard of the two escapees from the Clinton Correctional Facility in New York State. By now, the news is getting old and a little tiring. These two guys escaped from prison so what? It happens all the time. It really does! Somewhere in the world someone is trying to come up with a way to get out of the prison they are currently confined. Their escape plan might include flying themselves over the prison walls. They could be planning to dig a tunnel that would rival anything seen on Hogan’s Heroes or whatever they could be cooking up.

You would be surprised at just how many escapes are being formulated at this very moment. However, in the case of the two escapees in New York, they planned this escape for five months. They came up with the plan; they worked the plan that included getting others involved. They then fine-tuned the plan. Then executed the plan. When things went wrong they adjusted their plan. This worked because as of this writing, they have not been re-captured.

So what does this have to do with leadership? It has plenty to do with leadership. All leaders must know how to and properly utilize the planning process.

It is all about plans and planning. The convicts planned an escape. The prison system had a plan in place on dealing with an escape, prison riots, when a prisoner gets a Dear John letter. There is even a plan for when the inmates use the restroom or shower.

When the escape took place, someone was not there to execute her part of the plan, thus the plan became worthless. However, as they have not been recaptured it is obvious that the two escapees have adjusted their plan and remain on the run.

For the correctional facility, the plan to recapture the escapees has not gone as anticipated. They deployed search parties, set up roadblocks, even went door to door to no avail. While they are still executing their plan, the expected outcome is yet to be achieved. Thus, this plan while not yet rendered worthless continues to be adjusted accordingly.

This makes it a classic example of General Eisenhower’s famous quote, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.

They both had a plan of action that they were able to follow until the moment something happened that was not part of the plan. There are just too many variables (both known and unknown) that influence the outcome of any plan.

Q: What do you do when your plans do not got as planned?

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT advocating the escape of any convicted criminal from any correctional or detention facility. They are in a CORRECTIONAL FACILITY for a reason and are expected to remain there until they have successfully completed their sentence or properly released.

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It appears the (former) President of the Seattle Chapter of the NAACP is not African-American by birth but is by choice. Rachel Dolezal wrote she is in “complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP” and stepped down as the chapter’s president. She quit, which for her might have been the right thing to do but was it for everyone else?

What most people do not know, want to know or understand is, plain and simple; she quit being a leader the moment she took that position (or any other position) under false pretenses.

While the national NAACP stated “one’s racial identity is not a qualifying criteria or disqualifying standard for NAACP leadership.” That is fine if this individual, this “leader” had done her job as a LEADER by being honest and having the ethics, morals and integrity that individuals in any leadership must possess there would have been no problem.

Heck, I am more than certain we would NOT have this conversation, if this individual had just stopped for a minute and did the right thing for herself and especially for those that believed and followed her.

Now what? What happens next? What happens to all the individuals (both personal and professional) that were duped by the Dolezal? Yes, I wrote duped because that is what she did. I cannot come up with any no other word to describe. OK, yes I can but I would rather not at this time but I digress.

What happens next, is that like most negative things that happen in our lives, those friends and followers will get back up, pick up the pieces, and learn from their mistake (in trusting and believing Dolezal).

Now as for Dolezal, herself. Well, her future is solely her own. She can refuse to admit defeat, bury her head in the sand until the next news story breaks, and the come out like nothing happened.

On the other hand, she can do what ALL Real Leaders do: Admit a mistake was made, Pick up the pieces, Learn from those mistakes, and Move Forward!

What would you do if this was you in this unbelievable situation?

reference used in this blog post:

Change Decisionmaking Leadership Motivation

on Niccolò Machiavelli #8

“For whoever believes that great advancement and new benefits make men forget old injuries is mistaken.” -Niccolò Machiavelli

I once fell into a very large pile of rusty, old concertina wire (razor wire). If you know what razor wire is you know it can get pretty nasty if you get tangled up in it. Needless to say, I are tangled up in. It happened when I was in the Army. We were out on field maneuvers patrolling in a wooded area. I was part of the left flank as we approached a clearing. My attention was focused on the clearing and what might or might not be there. Then the forest floor gave out on me. I found myself bouncing on something semi-springy. I landed on my back onto the largest collection of used concertina wire in all of Fort Benning, Georgia.

To this day, I see one of the scars every time I sit down to type. I sliced open my right ring finger from my middle joint to just below my fingernail. While lying on top of the pile I could see the ligament and bones. It was a nice clean slice of course that was just before the bleeding started there and on my left calf with the six-inch slice. A medevac flight, some bandages, and a nice tetanus shot later I was good to go. Having learned my lesson, and just like that, I never walked in those woods or any other woods the same way, again. Every field exercise or deployment after that, I made certain I knew what I was stepping on and most certainly, where I was going.

The same applies to the top quote by Machiavelli. When we move forward. It is through our gained experience that we can move forward with caution and with speed. Speed in that we know where the landmines (or bundles of trashed concertina wire) are and caution to ensure that we avoid and freshly laid landmines.

What I am trying to say is don’t forget that the unexpected is always just one footstep away and don’t forget that as you go on your way forward.

David Guerra