Success is built with the Six “P’s” : Prior Planning

Success is built with the six “P’s”. I first learned this from my Dad and later heard it repeated while in the Army:

“Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance”.

One of the worst habits I know is that of “The Free Spirit”, the Guy (or Gal) who “Flies by the Seat of their pants”. That may be all well and good when their actions affect only them. I think of them as agents of chaos. Let me pose parents a few questions:

Have you ever had the “Get dressed” battle? “Be ready to Leave” battle? “Where is your homework?– That assignment was due when?— and “When did you know you had this assignment to do?” It may all sound like Discipline issues (which it is also), but it has to do with Prior Planning. We all have deadlines, even just getting out the door on time to go to work. There has to be a cut-off time for every step because we live by clocks.

Never ask kids, employees, and/or subordinates want they want or think in regards to duties, chores etc. Their job is to obey. I am sorry if that sounds harsh, but the reality is that there is a need for authority and respect of that authority and it starts at home at a young age. It starts as simply as laying out the clothes the night before and packing the school bag. No last minute crying and scrambling around the house! And your word is FINAL. Any arguments or manipulations must not be allowed.

Today one of my dance friends made a remark and it hit right home. We are planning a few appearances in July and are trying to get all of the music on a digital format and put into a sequence to match dances. The dancers are supposed to send or download their music to her so she can do the dance mix and have it ready on time. (I had already sent mine and it forced me to  prepare my set). She was griping that she still had not received music from everyone who was performing (last year we had a horrible experience with one of the locations – the equipment could not play half of our media or fully amplify).  “THEIR FAILURE TO PLAN DOES NOT MAKE IT MY EMERGENCY!” That is absolutely right, my friend.

For years I have had this experience at the school.  We announce events weeks, even months in advance. Those events are posted in multiple  venues, announced in classes, emailed out……And yet I will STILL get that last minute call even the DAY OF and within the HOUR for assistance. I used to go crazy with anxiety to help out every request and plea for help. And then I realized a few things: (1) these are adults (2) their failure to plan ahead is not my problem while I am tending to my duties and (3) good customer service does entail me getting ulcers, headaches or anxiety attacks.

I love people dearly; I can see the “cool” in each one. But…… constant tardiness = unreliability. Constant failure to have required materials = lack of accountability. Constant poor job or skill performance  = lack of preparation. Accountability, Preparation, Reliability….does this not sound like the qualities that  we require from those we hire for work or from whom we need services? So, let’s teach our kids the 6 “P’s” by example, not lecture. Don’t talk-the-talk, walk-the-walk.

Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance