Happy (Gregorian) New Year!

Leadership Moment: College Applications

Our eldest child has recently been accepted into List College at the Jewish Theological Seminary, in a joint program with Columbia University. We are elated to have successfully completed this phase of the application process, particularly given that we submitted only one application thus far.

I often emphasize the importance of contingency plans, and college counselors echo this sentiment. Nowadays, the prevailing advice is to apply to a minimum of seven schools. You might wonder why we, as a family (and yes, I acknowledge that there is often substantial parental involvement in the application process), chose to submit just one application.

First and foremost, we possessed a high level of confidence that this particular institution was the perfect fit, and we believed that our eldest would secure admission. Secondly, we were fully aware that submitting multiple applications would entail significant stress, whether completed in time for early action or during the past week leading up to the regular deadline. Given that we would receive a decision two weeks before the deadline, we made the conscious choice to defer the additional work until it became imperative.

In some instances, procrastination can render certain tasks unnecessary.

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One Minute Pro Tip: If-Then Planning

When you’re making plans, contingency planning isn’t always an obvious step – nor is it obvious how you’ll know it’s time to enact your contingency plan. Here’s a quick set of questions you can apply to any plan to make it easier.

Expectation: What do we expect to happen?

Contingency: What will we do if that doesn’t happen?

Signal: How will we know if our expectation isn’t being met?

Intent: What do we need to do in advance for the Contingency Plan?

Trigger: When is the last moment to engage our Contingency Plan?

Those five questions will help you make plans, accept that deferring work can be acceptable, but prepare for having to fallback.


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