Proverbs 20:18 Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.
When I was in the Army we had a saying that is pretty applicable for today’s post. It was called the six Ps: Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. This is probably one of the most important leadership concepts, outside of character, that there is. It is extremely important when I talk about terror-proofing our lives.
It might come to you as a surprise that proper planning is an important aspect of terror proofing our lives. Because of the spontaneity of the events such as: terrorism, random (at least on our part) acts of violence, muggings, natural disasters, or other tragic events, it is very important and today I am going to show you the necessity of good planning.
I think a good start in this concept of planning is for all of us to take a good look back at our early educational experiences. How many of you experienced the tedious exercises of fire drills? Everybody, right? How many of you actually were in a fire in school where the drill was used? Maybe a few, right? What about the emergency drills the flight attendants go over EVERY SINGLE flight? How many of you think that those drills were important?
They are important because properly planned drills will prepare us (God forbid) for that emergency — should you need it. They develop within us a routine that our bodies will resort to when we enter the state of fight or flight if they are drilled to the point of habit. The importance of drilling cant be emphasized enough.
Physiologically, when we enter the state of fight or flight our bodies go through a process of shutting down systems that we don’t need at that time. One of the things that happen is that there is less oxygen going to the brain, rendering the decision making process more difficult. This is why having a pre-determined plan is so important. The brain already knows what to do.
You might say, “every situation is different though.” That is 100% correct, they are different every single time. The importance of the plan being drilled into your psyche though gives you the freedom to implement changes with very little effort. One of my mentors in the Army used to tell me that SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) gave the unit the baseline in order to train safely and the ability to change the plan with a lot of flexibility because everyone understood the same things. They were all on the same page.
You might say “well, is it really necessary?” A good example of this would be the Titanic. Would it have been important for the Titanic crew to have rehearsed their evacuation plan? The reality is that it is better to have a pre-determined plan of action and not need it, than need a plan and not have it. It is also foolish not to have a plan when you consider the small amount of time it takes to develop a plan.
So let me give you a quick example of how easy it is to develop a plan for tragedy. I live in Tennessee and tornadoes are quite frequent here. They have also been discussing for years the fault line that runs through Memphis that could cause a catastrophic earthquake.
I am three and half-hours away from Memphis so what do you think are some of the effects that an earthquake could have for my community? Some of the easiest things to determine would be a loss of water, electricity, structural damage, and maybe looting. Once we understand the consequences we can then make a plan that would include the purchase of supplies, generator, a gun for looters, and depending on the severity of the earthquake an evacuation plan.
In order to really bring this home, I would like to ask you to take a good look at your community and the things that take place around it and begin to make some mental plans as you pray you never need those plans.