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