"Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail"

John Manning Posted by John Manning.

John Manning is the President of Management Action Programs, Inc. (MAP), a general management consulting firm based in Southern California.


"Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail"

Interview with John Manning.

What passion drove you to write this book for leaders?

In business, disciplined leadership is at the heart of an organization’s success. For the past 55 years, our company has helped leaders and organizations accelerate performance by becoming more disciplined. Through our blogs on the subject of discipline, we realized that our audience was hungry for more insight on this topic. We thought the book was the perfect opportunity to share our collective wisdom and experience on disciplined leadership. Our goal is to give the reader a guide and process for becoming a Disciplined Leader through concise lessons that focused on leading themselves, leading their teams, and leading their organization. On the personal side, I enjoy mentoring others. My most memorable moments in business and life have been helping people in a meaningful way. These experiences motivated me to write the book and helped me stay the course.

Which chapter stands out to you the most and WHY?

Chapter 10 “Push beyond the Comfort Zone” has personal significance to me because the whole journey of getting the book completed and published definitely pushed my comfort zone. There were times when self-doubt creeped into my mind when things got tough. This chapter helped me keep perspective by getting me to think about past experiences where tough challenges led to personal growth and success. In the end, the lesson proved true. I did achieve my goal and grew immensely along the way. I learned valuable lessons from the talented team that supported this project and I am deeply grateful for their support. The conclusion of the book, “Now Pay It Forward” also holds a special place with me. It is my hope that people will benefit from the lessons in this book and look for opportunities to help others.

What advice would you give to someone who is at the beginning of their leadership journey?

In Chapter 17 of the book, I quote Alan Lakein who said “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” The first step for someone beginning their leadership journey is to develop a professional development plan. Taking this first step is self-empowering. The plan can serve as a blueprint for measuring progress and achieving career goals. Writing a plan will naturally form direction and create more focus boosting the odds for success. In terms of tackling the book I suggest reading the lessons start to finish, beginning to end. They are presented in a logical, sequential order, a sort of natural path of inspiration, empowerment, exploration, challenge, and insight. I would suggest finding a coach or mentor who can provide guidance and support along the way.