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Plan B: The Fallback Strategy (In Football Likened to Life)

The Importance of a Contingency Plan...!

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The Plan B
Let's take some lessons from the just concluded UEFA champions league finals held on Saturday the 26th day of may, 2018.

Many people wanted Liverpool to win the 2018 champions league and the reason was simple. They have played a fantastic football this season and had the deadliest front 3. Playing a fantastic football is a good thing, having the deadliest front 3 is also good, but all that was not just good enough to secure the championship.

Few have forgotten and many have overlooked how close they came to being eliminated by Roma in the semi-finals even with a 5-2 first leg win at Anfield. We also forgot about the several howler of Karius all through the season although he seemed to have improved a bit heading to the finals.

Most importantly we forgot that consistently just like Pep, Klop hardly deploys a Plan B (a backup plan) for all his tactical genius and that was exactly where the game was lost on Saturday. The game was lost even before it started.

There is no strategist without a joker, and who doesn't understand how multiple layers of options work. Unfortunately the bane of genius like Klopp and Pep is a lack of plan B because Plan A on a good day will deliver the results.

I told friends that Real Madrid will win before the match started because they are a team that understood how to win finals on the big stages. They evolve on strategies, with multiple options should Plan A go wrong at any point in the game.

The moment Salah was off (don't blame Baba Ramos, it was part of the game) Plan A was thrown out of the window for Liverpool and the entire team never recovered.

There is a red card principle we teach in Family systems engineering which says "Never follow a red carded player to the dressing room" mentally or psychologically. Unfortunately Liverpool players mentally followed an injured Salah to the dressing room and the rest is history.

The most interesting thing was, it wasn't also the Plan A of Real Madrid that won the match, it was their Plan B (backup plan) with the unsolicited collaboration of Mr. Karius (Liverpool goalkeeper) whose unbelievable errors cost his team.  Maybe he had mentally followed Salah to the dressing room as well. But this is a strategy lesson for us all.


  • What is your plan B?
  • Should things don’t go the way you planned, what’s your fallback plan?
  • What is the quality of your bench, your contingency plan?

At the highest levels; in life, families, and businesses, the substitutes (options) must be as good, if not better than the starting 11. Are you the Christiano Ronaldo or Salah of your team who always make things happen or do you have a Garett Bale in your team who can step in should the need arise?

The lesson is clear.  Don't be the only star: Build systems beyond surprises.

Who else can do what you can do in your team?  There is no future for any organization that depends solely on Salah or Ronaldo, but teams with a Garett Bale will always win should Ronaldo not perform.

Most times we are sure and confident of plan A that we always ignore plan B. Plan B is the shock absorber that will save you the embarrassment of failure. It is lack of plan B that ruins businesses and make companies/ firms not to recover when things fall apart.

Recently, I visited a friend with his family. I discovered the wife was a full-time housewife without doing any business. (Being a full-time housewife is not a bad thing, but you need a woman to be engaged in something even as you are at home). I called him and told my friend you are endangering your family. You travel on the highway everyday to work.

If something happens to you (God forbid)...!


  • what happens to your wife?
  • Will she be able to cope?
A good family plan B is to empower your wife and children...!

Don't let ego kill you.

In your extended family, what's your plan B for survival?

In your business, what's your plan B should projections and strategic thinking underdeliver?

Every aspect of our life must have plan B notwithstanding the solidity of Plan A.

A life without plan B (fallback plan) is called extreme zero thinking.

© This wonderful article was sent to me by a colleague from a social media platform, though few modifications have been made before publishing. I believe it will be a blessing to you and those you care about.
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