A Great Leadership Lesson from a Marine Named Fitz (and the Reason that I Blog)


Fitz is a great guy I grew to love while I was serving as Youth Pastor at Central Baptist Church in Prescott, Arkansas. He is a straight-talking, no-nonsense guy who loves to serve God. During the time God gave me in Prescott, I loved that I never had to wonder about where I stood with Fitz – I always knew because he wasn’t the type to beat around the bush.

On more than one occasion I heard Fitz recall what he called the 5Ps: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance (Note: There’s quite a few other versions of this saying, but this one is the shortest – some add one or two more Ps –  and it’s the most blog friendly.)

Over the years since I first heard this adage, I have used it in my own ministry and in training up other leaders.

Simply put, there’s just no substitute for good planning.

In my years of ministry and leadership, I have never once thought to myself: “You know, I really wish I would have planned this out less.” Sure, I’ve under-planned. I’ve even planned out a few things to near perfection. But, I’ve never regretted planning. Not once.

Why I Blog

So, I’ve had this post brewing in my drafts pile for a few months, but I didn’t post it because I was unsure it would resonate with a wide audience – I mean, posts on planning aren’t exactly trending right now.

Just over a week ago, I was texting with a friend who is an absolute rockstar leader. I asked him how things were going and then shared the 5Ps.

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 9.20.46 AMI honestly didn’t think too much of this advice until I received this message back from him today – over a week later:

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 9.32.42 AM I never knew that my simple text message would be “a driving force.”

I may not ever know who is reading this blog or how it will change the way they do what it is that they do, but that shouldn’t matter. I need to pour into leaders and let God keep up with the results I can’t see. I never would have guessed that this simple text message would actually mean something significant to someone, but I suppose Fitz didn’t either.

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