Preparation is key.

When we have a deadline, we often focus on the task we need to do: going through an interview, delivering a training or presentation, providing a report. There are important milestones that we need to go through to achieve our goal. To be successful in achieving these milestones, two things are essential (see my previous article: The keys of success). However, there is one thing we often underestimate: preparation. 


Why is it important?

Even though preparation can be boring and not always fun, it is one of the most valuable things you can do to avoid stress and anxiety as the deadline approaches.

Being prepared as much as possible is critical if you want to be successful. When you are prepared, you can tackle challenges more easily and more efficiently. You will also be and feel more confident when you’ve worked on all the things you need to know and on the things you control.

In business

When you are looking for a job and get an interview, nothing is more important than doing your research, Find out about the company you’ve applied for, their values, their financial situation, locations, culture, etc. Find out more about the role by reaching out to people in your network who may work there or ask your connections if they know people working there. 

Prepare your answers to some of the common questions (tell me more about yourself; why do you want to work here; what are your strengths and weaknesses, etc.). Don’t forget to prepare questions to ask the recruiter, hiring manager etc. Interviews are a two-way conversation and candidates often forget this, 

When you deliver a presentation or a training, you also need to spend as much time preparing as possible. It helps you create something that will interest your audience and you can link things between a project, the company, the department, to your presentation. When you are well prepared, you will have worked on everything that is in your control (have a backup ready in case you have some technical issues; be ready to answer questions or objections; know the layout of the room in case you have to do some team exercises, etc. ). The more information you have beforehand, the more chances you have to show your professionalism, knowledge and expertise. 

Preparation is key.


In life

Same as in business, if you want to put all the chances in your corner, you need to prepare. 

When you want to cook something special, you usually need to look at the recipe and buy the ingredients in advance. You also need to make sure you have all ustensils so that you can make that special dish. Unless you’ve been cooking that special meal several times in the past, you need to spend some time in the preparation to be sure you’ll be able to make that dish on time.

Whether you want to run a marathon or start a new fitness routine, you need to first know your exact goal and where you are starting from. Same thing if you want to improve your health and lose some weight. Once you have identified the gap, you can prepare, put actions into place that will help you achieve your goal. You may have to buy certain equipment, buy certain food or change your schedule. All of this requires preparation. 

Preparation is key.

When traveling

When you want to travel for pleasure or business, or need to move abroad, preparation is also critical. 

What is the cost of living? Which places can you visit? What type of food do people eat? How is the weather? If you are a woman, are there areas you need to avoid? 

If you got a job abroad, find out about the tax system and if there are many expatriates. You also should enquire if the city you’re going to has (international) schools for your children and if your partner will be able to find a job easily. These questions may not be relevant first but things can go quickly sometimes, and the better you are prepared, the easier the transition will be. 

Preparation is key.



Whatever your goal, make sure you set some time aside to think, organize yourself and work towards what you want to achieve. Obviously, sometimes unexpected things happen, but when they do, they are mostly things you cannot do anything about. 

So remember that preparation is key, not optional! See it as an investment that will allow you to relax more and will put you at a competitive advantage. Even though it may seem like a ‘waste of time’, being prepared will in the end save you time and money.

⭐️⭐️⭐️ ‘There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure’ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Colin Powell

#vlvcoach #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #mindset

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