Take Flight Blog Crow 300x182 - Blog Post: FYI, Your Parents Were Great Strategic PlannersIn 2021, Find the Path of Least Resistance in Your Former, Youthful Resistance

(Your Parents Were Right) 

By: Jason Jordan – Director, Communications & Member Services

Following a 2020 that demands more of our energy, time and patience than it affords us, 2021 is emerging as a powerful symbol of hope — whether or not that title is earned or even realistic. As uncharitable as it feels to say, a successful 2021 is by no means guaranteed.

However, similar woes can be averted with significant planning. But where do you start? How do you begin to look past the damage and demoralization 2020 has wrought on you and your team?

Whatever you do, don’t get bogged down in looking back at the things that were beyond your control in 2020, and make sure you have a plan that motivates you and awakens your good spirits in 2021. While 2020 may be informative in planning, getting past it may require a more personal and much farther look back.

People with positive memories of their parents often have a common story, remembering their folks waking and motivating them for the day. When I was young, my dad would leave for work just minutes after I had woken up. To be perfectly honest, his attempts to arouse my spirits weren’t always met with kindness as I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, with a half-awake body, and ‘dead to the world’ levels of motivation.

Every morning, hew would say: “Do your best today, make tomorrow easier,” with the enthusiasm of a mid-century carnival barker. It was a  simple mantra, as simple as it had to be to connect with a moody, half-there teenage boy at 6:15 in the morning.

Little did I know that this would be the best example of communications messaging I would know in my life. It overcame a lot of the obstacles that 2020 has presented: bad timing, a target that was increasingly hard to reach, and limited time and resources.

In hindsight, it was shaping the way I viewed and dealt with adversity for the rest of my life, serving as a roadmap that reminded me to find and take the path of least resistance in nearly all cases. From dealing with jerks, to navigating relationships and getting through school, this brief examination of plans, actions and outcomes has served me well.

Now, as a nonprofit professional, I use my dad’s words almost daily, adapting it to “Do your best today, make a better tomorrow,” a reminder that the work we do in the nonprofit space today, may have benefits for more people and deeper impacts than we thought possible when the obstacles were first piled in front of us.

In the COVID-19 era, a simple shift in the way your organization looks at challenges, focusing on the outcome rather than the obstacle, can lay the cornerstone for solid strategic planning and reveal the coveted “path of least resistance” forward. Doing the hard work today of seeking out new partnerships, new revenue streams and refining programs to meet challenges, can mean better tomorrows — but only if you recognize and plan to capitalize on it.

If you need a hand in your strategic planning, goal setting, funding priorities or communications for 2021, get and touch and set up a consultation by emailing me at jordanj@ihsnet.org, or give me a call at 607-776-9467 ext. 231.  

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