Justin Constantine, an inspirational speaker, leadership consultant, and entrepreneur, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps and now acts as a liaison between the military and corporate communities, has developed tips for executives on improvising when a business plan goes awry.
“There’s a military adage that no plan survives contact with the enemy,” said Constantine. “A similar rule holds true for business entrepreneurs. You just don’t know what’s going to happen to your business plan when it meets the marketplace.”
In his new book, “My Battlefield, Your Office: Leadership Lessons from the Front Lines,” Constantine lays out advice for business executives on what to do when things don’t go according to plan. He put together four main principles on how to improvise when your business plan goes awry:
1. Focus on principles first. Before you come up with your business plan, make sure that you have laid out high, clear and inspiring values. “Those guiding principles will give you something to fall back on when you find yourself in a chaotic situation,” he said.
2. Set a broad goal. Henry Ford’s goal was to create a car middle-class families could afford. The business plan built off that goal. “You should never go into battle without knowing the objectives of the war,” Constantine said.
3. Treat workers as a renewable resource. Many companies look at employees as a resource to be used up, rather than nurtured. “It takes a lot of work to become a Marine,” said Constantine, “so we never take a single Marine for granted.”
4. Don’t hide from problems. Some executives develop a “siege mentality” when problems come up, rather than facing the hard questions. “When your business is in a crisis, you need all hands on deck,” said Constantine. “That means being open with your staff about the problem.”
Constantine says businesses that follow these four principles will have an easier time adapting when their initial plans don’t work out.
“Crisis reveals character,” said Constantine. “If you set up your business based on firm values and a solid overarching mission with empowered employees and clear lines of communication, you can weather any problems. If you don’t, it will become clear to everyone when crisis hits.”
About Justin Constantine
Justin Constantine is an inspirational speaker, leadership consultant, entrepreneur and a TED lecturer, who serves as a liaison between the military and corporate communities. He is the author of the new book “My Battlefield, Your Office: Leadership Lessons from the Front Lines,” now available on Amazon. A Presidential Leadership Scholar, Justin is also a fellow with the Truman National Security Project. He sits on the board of directors of several national nonprofits, and co-founded the Veteran Success Resource Group. Justin received a Purple Heart for his service in Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps.
To learn more, visit: www.justinconstantine.com.
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