A local college just held their inaugural football game and the coach was quoted as saying: “What keeps me up right now is the one critical thing I might have forgotten about. It’s the little stuff. The coin for the coin flip. The towels for the balls…There were basic things that I didn’t even think about…I’m almost not even worried about the football yet.”

His comments underscore the importance of that foundational infrastructure that is so second nature everyone takes it for granted. It’s only when an event happens for the first time or in a different environment that people become conscious of the details: when a meeting is held off-site, a meal is planned for the park instead of the kitchen, sleeping involves a tent instead of hotel, etc. Suddenly, people realize that they need to plan to have enough chairs, to bring the forks, and to remember the pillow and flashlight.

Doing something for the first time or doing it in a new location triggers another dimension of planning. Don’t overlook the complexity that “new” brings. You need to have the coin and towels before you can kick off.

Source: Miguel Regalado as quoted in “Pride primed for 1st game in program history” by Brenden West in the Telegraph Herald, August 31, 2019, p. 1B.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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