The White Magic and the Secret Behind It

Prior to when my daughter was old enough to gain grade admission to grade school, I had always wondered how the elementary school few blocks from my house managed to welcome over 400 students into the school within ten (10) minutes every school day. When I checked the school’s website, I found out that resumption time for students during the school calendar is 8:40 a.m and if a student arrives at 8:51 a.m, doors will be locked and the student will be considered late.  400 students in 10 minutes?  How can this be? What was the secret behind it?

I managed to keep my curiosity until my daughter became a student so I could witness the white magic and perhaps uncover the secret behind it. Upon arrival on the first day, I observed as parents began to drop off their kids on a designated route. No one jumped the queue, the greeters were waiting at the end of the drop off spot so they could help students get out of their parents’ cars safely. None of them appeared grumpy or cranky – they had big and warm smiles on their faces. Parents were not allowed to come into the school with their kids so after I dropped off my daughter at 8:45 a.m, I waited on the other side of the street to watch the process. By 8:50, the lines were gone and I found it quite unbelievable that over 400 students were calmly sitting in their classrooms without hitch. I was stunned considering the fact that children are not the most easily managed set of people in the world.

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As I left her school that day and heading for home, I asked myself “how come everyone knew what they were supposed to do?”. What was the secret behind this white magic that has played out perfectly well?  Did time “pause” for them to record this success day in day out? Are they superhumans?

As it turned out, time did not especially stop for them neither are they super humans. The white magic and the secret behind it was and is still planning.

Now, that my children have become an integral part of their school, I see first hand how prior planning yields incredible results.

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The planning for the next school year begins in September of the preceding year.  Teachers, parents and other stakeholders are usually involved in the planning process through effective communication and by the time school starts, everyone knows what to do, what to expect and what steps to take if plans don’t go on as planned.  I realized that planning and sticking to plan is the secret to their “wowzifying” performance and hence results. It wasn’t magic after all.

If there’s one thing I can point to as a major lesson I have learned since I moved here it is that “prior planning prevents poor performance.” If you want your school to be perfectly run, the secret lies in planning.  If you want to excel in business, the secret lies in thorough planning and execution.

Ever since I started planning things in my business, I noticed I started getting “wowzifying” results.  I know today that average things may happen by default but great things only happen by design and thorough planning. Have you planned your business? And most importantly, have you planned your life?

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