Have you ever created a plan that fell apart? I think every leader can answer yes. For example, maybe you planned your next day before leaving the office at the end of the day. But when you arrived the following day, there was an unforeseen issue, and your plan went out the window.

Like me, you probably have a system to organize your day. As I prepare to leave my office at the end of the day, I review my calendar and plan out my next day. However, there are days when I must change my plans based on unforeseen circumstances.

I was forced to change our plans during a recent vacation due to unforeseen circumstances. So my husband and I planned a vacation to the Midwest. The vacation was an opportunity for us to spend time with family, who live there, ski, and have some quality downtime.

As we arrived at the airport to begin our trip, everything was on track. Our plan was intact. Our flights were on time, and we were excited to connect with our family. But, unfortunately, while we were waiting for our luggage, we received the disappointing news that our family members would not be able to join us for the weekend.

The plan was for our family members to meet us at the resort and spend the weekend with us. After that, my husband and I would spend the next several days at the resort and then spend the following weekend with our family at their house.

You see, our son serves in the military, and due to recent events in Eastern Europe, everyone in his organization needed to be readily available for rapid deployment. Thus, he had to remain in the local area.

Unfortunately, since our family lives almost 2,000 miles away, we don’t get to see them often. So, of course, I was very disappointed that we would not see our family members until the end of the week, and it would be for a short time.

After picking up our rental card, my husband suggested changing our plans. Instead of heading directly to the resort, he suggested spending the weekend with our family members and then traveling to the resort.

Although it would shorten our downtime, more importantly, it would allow us to spend additional time with our family. So we called the resort to change our plans and spent a wonderful weekend with our family. So although we wouldn’t have as much downtime as we wanted, we would have a great vacation with our family.

As a leader, you develop plans to help your organization run smoothly and accomplish your mission. Most of the time, your plans will go as you have planned. However, you will face challenges and obstacles. So, what do you do when your plan falls apart? First, you must adjust and revise your plan!

So, what’s one quality every leader must have? Flexibility! Why? Flexible leaders can quickly adapt to changes as they arise.

“Flexibility in a time of great change is a vital quality of leadership.”

-Brian Tracy

Your ability to adapt and make adjustments will help you achieve your goals as a leader.

Have you learned to be a more flexible leader?


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Dr. Kim Moore

About the author

I'm Kim, your Educational Leadership Guide. I equip educational leaders with research-based and experientially learned educational leadership principles and best practices to promote student success.