At the risk of causing an endless debate, I think one of a leader’s most neglected attributes is preparedness.
I see too many leaders keeping busy with plenty of reacting and firefighting, but they give little thought to effectively preparing for future events.
Think about this: As a leader of your business or your family, at some point, you’ll be looked on to solve an unexpected (and likely unwanted) problem. It could involve an accident on your commute or fixing a flat tire, yours or someone else’s.
At work, the problem could be a short-term cash flow challenge or perhaps a key employee who suddenly quits or contracts a serious illness.
Regardless of what the world delivers, an exceptional leader must be prepared to take action quickly, finding and implementing a solution for every situation.
Prepare for the unexpected. Give yourself a minimum of 20 minutes a day to be alone so you can slow down and think—without distractions.
Think about realistic scenarios you could face, then mentally prepare what you’d do if they materialized. Also consider what you’d do if your plans don’t turn out the way they were supposed to. That way, you won’t put yourself in a position of saying, “I never saw that coming.”
What are your top three scenarios to prepare for? Write them down.
And never fail to heed Benjamin Franklin’s advice: “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.”