In one of my favorite MBA case study books I found a particularly interesting anecdote illustrating importance of always having some kind of plan, even if you feel it is not the accurate at all.
The anecdote was originally described by K.W. Weick in “Cartographic myths in organization” and goes like this:
During soldier maneuvers in the Alps, a troop of Hungarian soldiers got lost during the scouting mission. The weather was severe, snow was deep and conditions were freezing. After two days of wandering around, the soldiers gave up hope and became thought to frozen to death in the mountains. Then, to their great surprise, one of soldiers discovered a map in his pocket. Thrilled by this discovery, the soldiers were able to find way back and escape from the mountains. When they were safe back at the headquarters, they found out that the map was not of the Alps at all, but of Pyrenees. And what is the moral of this anecdote?
It often is that a plan (here a map) is not be perfect, but having it may give a sense of purpose and direction for moving forward. If the soldiers would waited for the right map they could have frozen to death. Map their found brought great deal of confidence motivated them to get up and go, look closely at cues of where they are and where they want to be.
Even if this anecdote is criticized in terms of its credibility, moral, and business applications in current times I still like it. Sometimes even leader is not sure where to go, and the plan they have is not good enough to get their teams out of the snowy mountains. However what leaders have to do is to instill confidence in people and get them moving even in general direction, so by going, listening carefully and learning as a team they can work out better idea how to capture the opportunity they chase.