We’re often taught that preparation is the best practice and to always be prepared. Good idea, but do unprepared leaders have the best vision?
The question might become, “If we are prepared for everything are we underachieving?” Is there enough risk, or is there too little?
People are surprised if they get a flat tire, but most of them are prepared. Rain in the forecast and we might take an umbrella, just so we are prepared. Called to the boss’s office unexpectedly might make us concerned and flustered but we still try to prepare.
Some might argue it is instinctual, but being prepared is more likely to be a learned behavior.
Leaders especially should prepare. Yet, often there is argument that having a backup plan is really just a plan to fail.
I’m a firm believer in being prepared. I prepare for client meetings, training events, and keynote speeches. There is a double check, triple check, and often I rehearse for timing and eloquence. I have back up plans, more content, less content, and a vision for what it all will look like.
Still, I never know what might happen next. What questions will be asked? Who might be in the audience? Who will agree or who will disagree?
Are you always completely prepared? Prepared enough that you are prepared for the unexpected?
What about the leader that pushes the process, the strategy, and the vision to a level that no one knows what will happen next? Might this provide the most meaningful balance of risk and reward?
In the 1960’s we dove head first into a space race, were we completely prepared? Privately funded projects are planning to send humans to Mars, is everyone completely prepared?
It seems to me that this is where the magic exists. It exists in the moments where no matter how prepared you are you’ll still never know what might happen next.
Does the leader that goes beyond the realm of the known have the best vision of all, or are they simply unprepared?
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.