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Leadership and backup plans

Having a backup plan RUINS EVERYTHING…..

I left shipping in 2009 to pursue the next phase of my career

Some of you may recollect that 2009 was the midst of sub-prime mortgage crisis

Probably the biggest financial crisis the world had ever seen

Almost everyone, including my family, thought it was a foolish decision

Leaving a well-paying, well-settled job during the peak of an economic crisis

Was it a big risk ? 

Yes, it was !

Was it scary ?

Hell YES ! It was scary and it was crazy !!

I was not even sure if I will even get a job

And on top of it, I had taken an education loan

While I left shipping, I had a choice to keep my Captain’s license valid

That would have given me the cushion to go back to sailing on ships, had my new career not worked out

That would have been my ideal backup plan

But you know what I did ?

I let my Captain’s license expire when I left sailing

Why ?


I am an ALL-IN type of person

Same thing happened when I left my high-flying corporate career with global investment bank to start my coaching practice

I did not have any alternate job offer in hand

Again, almost everybody around me thought it was a foolish decision 

But I made up my to go all-in

Lets be honest ...

Most of us want to play safe and secure

We have plan A, plan B and even plan C

But this is such a flawed approach as it sabotages success on every level

Why ? 

When you have a back-up plan:

..You are already thinking of failure as an option

..You never give your 100%, because you know you have a fallback option

Now consider what happens when you DO NOT have a back-up plan:

..You give your 110% in whatever you do

..You are not playing the safe game. You are out there in the open

..You challenge yourself and push yourself more

..You have no other option, but to succeed

..You skin is truly in the game

And when you do not have a backup plan, you will NOT allow anything to come in between your goals and your dreams

It can create a very strong sense of desire, motivation and commitment

Most of you will not agree with this approach because your default state is to have backup plans for everything, because you are looking for safety, comfort and security

And that is where you miss the whole point

Whatever is making you comfortable today is also holding you back from growth

But look….

My intent is not to seek agreement, but to challenge you to succeed 

Because this is what I do best when I coach my clients

..I challenge their thinking and push them outside their comfort zone

..I encourage them to go all-out to chase their dreams


And that is why they succeed !

Anyways, here is your reflection for the week :

  1. What is the one area of your life where you want to go all-in, no backup plans ?
  2. If you are targeting a specific goal in the near future, ask yourself this one question – “Why will I not succeed” ?

Complete the following sentence :

If I am going to do_____________( write your goal ), I will not succeed because______________

This is a powerful statement to reflect upon as the answer lies in the question itself. It will reveal what you need to do to be successful


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