So, I just finished watching and reading Bo Eason’s latest weekly blog on the dangers of “Plan B“. Give it a look before going further, then come back to me.

The underlying point of his post is that real leaders don’t hedge their bets. They don’t create multiple safe – options in case things get too hard, they go ‘all in’ toward one desired outcome. (Contingencies are fine, as long as we stay focused on the same overarching goal)

Throughout his post, Bo references Fire Fighters, Army Rangers, Navy SEALS, and Green Berets (my personal favorite) as examples of leaders who pick one path and commit themselves completely to it.

As a lifetime Green Beret, I thought I’d shed a little more light on just how true that statement is:
Before every combat spec ops mission, we select what is known as an “MDL” or “Mission Decision Line.” This is a known linear spot on the map and point on the ground where, once you cross it…you continue the mission even if your helicopter goes down; even if you run out of water; even if you are the lone survivor.

Once you cross the MDL…the game is on and there is no turning back. The signal is usually passed to all team members when you’ve crossed the MDL en route to a target.

Now, you would think that is a very daunting and challenging moment when you cross that MDL wouldn’t you?! I mean, talk about finality and looking face to face with the Grim Reaper…the MDL is it.

But, ironically, every mission I’ve been on at night, where we would infiltrate by helicopter…I would see nothing in the dimly lit, hot and cramped space of that chopper but the white teeth and flashing smiles of my Brothers as we quietly flew over our MDL. Without saying a word, our toothy smiles said it all – “GAME ON and ALL IN”.

Let me ask you a question…do you have an MDL in your life? Have you set a point on the earth or in your plan where when you cross it, you are fully committed to the challenge you’ve set for yourself?

If not, give it a try. You’ll be surprised what it does for you and how much wasted fear, emotion, and hand-wringing it will take out of daily life as you fight through unavoidable challenges and stay focused on your goals, even when times get rough.

Bo’s right. Screw plan B. Put your eggs in the basket and protect the hell out of it.

Until next time, thanks for what you do

Scott

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About The Author

Scott Mann has spent most of his entire adult life leaving tracks, and his mission in life is to help others do the same. His Dad, Rex Mann, refers to this as giving back to causes higher than yourself. He doesn’t know why he loves it so, but he does. He has served our great country for 23 years in the U.S. Army, most of that as a Green Beret doing missions all over the world. He fought three combat tours in Afghanistan, as well as in many other conflict zones such as Iraq and Colombia. His last few years in the Army, he was an architect and original implementer of the Special Operations Village Stability Operations (VSO)/Afghan Local Police (ALP) programs in Afghanistan. He also designed and implemented the popular SOCOM Academic Week training courses. Scott has commanded troops at several levels. At his last rank, lieutenant colonel, he made the tough decision to pass on his promotion to colonel and pursue other passions. It was one of the toughest but most rewarding choices he ever made. He is now the founder and CEO of the Stability Institute, where they broker knowledge and connecting stability professionals on complex stability issues around the globe. In concert with Institute President Howard Clark, he has built a vast network of stability practitioners who collaborate on unique solutions for government organizations, large corporations and even small businesses and individuals. As an entrepreneur, he built a multimillion-dollar real estate portfolio and property management company with his brother, who is his best friend and partner. They buy, turn around, and operate mobile home communities all over the state of North Carolina. He is blessed to put his entrepreneurial experience to use by mentoring transitioning Green Berets and other veterans in reaching their goals and dreams in the civilian sector. As an advocate, he is also the founder/CEO of Patriot Families, a nonprofit organization helping military families and wounded veterans at a grassroots level cope with the rigors of military deployments and family stress. He serves on the board of advisors for Stay in Step Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Center in Tampa, Florida, and Spirit of America, a nonprofit supporting our warriors and diplomats with stability missions abroad. He graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a degree in Political Science. He has a Master’s Degree in Operational Art and Science from the U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College. He lives in Riverview, Florida with his wife Monty and their three boys Cody, Cooper, and Brayden

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