Insight #24

Leaders Prepare


Preparation is the secret that leaders use to achieve great success in their chosen endeavors.    The hallmark of a successful leader is his ability to prepare and preparation is the underlying key to long-term success.

Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines preparation as the action or process of making something ready for use or service or getting ready for some occasion, test, or duty; a state of being prepared; a preparatory act or measure.  The key to mastering preparation is to develop a mindset focused on setting the conditions for success in all things.  The only way that you can effectively set the conditions for your eventual success is to prepare thoroughly.

Everything that a leader does up to the point of execution is preparation.  Preparation can take many forms, including rehearsals, walk-throughs, run-throughs, dry-runs, practices, and in-progress reviews.  An added benefit of preparation is that by preparing now, you are rehearsing how you will do something in advance of the event itself. 

Some people believe that preparation when mixed with intelligence and initiative is the ultimate tool for being successful at anything in life.  Best-selling author Brian Tracy talks about how practice makes you good, but perfect practice makes you excellent - this is practice at its highest level of efficiency and effectiveness.

Preparation is the common denominator in any successful effort, in fact, I would argue that no success can be accomplished without some type of preparation behind it – this preparation may be planned or ad hoc but the key is that if preparation happens at all, it will benefit you by helping you to obtain your ultimate result, just as you imagined it.
Five keys to why preparation is so important:

  1. Preparation is the leaders way of assessing his organizations’ readiness to execute a mission;
  2. Preparation allows the leader to identify weak areas that need to be addressed;
  3. Preparation helps a leader to understand his areas of risk;
  4. Preparation synchronizes the efforts of a team;
  5. Preparation identifies and helps to resolve conflicts within a project.


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