Plan and be ready

Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success. Henry Ford

No one can emphasis the importance of planning for it is the most critical step in the preparation process which in turn ensure that we are ready to start anything.  Preparation goes a very long way in ensuring that we are successful in whatever we do and it also ensures minimal damage in the eventuality of failure. Preparation is all about coordinating the required resources and ensuring that the way ahead is chalked out as clearly as possible and that all bases are covered so that there are no slip ups during the execution.

In the process of getting ready the first thing one notices is that there are too many question marks that peeper the pathway from visualization to execution. Answering each of these questions ensures that we come to grips with the minutest details and are able to plug the possible leakages. Eg. When planning a party the basic questions are venue, number of attendees, costs, menu, program. When breaking each of these questions further we realize that many answers are interlinked to other questions and more importantly there needs to be someone to coordinate. The coordinator was not originally visualized as being a critical factor but in the process of planning the coordinator becomes very critical for he/ she will drive the event.

The major problem with planning is taking care of the numerous variables and the quality of assumptions made. Despite our best efforts many answers will never be obvious and we need to go by gut feel/ instinct and these could be backed by past experiences and logical analysis. Take the example of organizing a party. One will try to get confirmations from invitees to arrive at the attendees list yet based on past experience we either add or subtract from the numbers to arrive at a reasonable figure.  An even bigger problem with planning is not knowing when to stop and begin execution. Most of us also get fatigued by planning and in frustration prefer the easy way out and say let us simply start and take care of problems as they occur. The fact is most times this works because major planning is done but there are times when things go completely awry. Imagine planning a seminar and assuming that the venue has arrangements for the computer and projector and that the system works perfectly fine with the speaker’s gadgets. While the assumption would in 99 out 100 times be right you might end up with egg on your face if the 100th time it fails.

The boy scouts have a wonderful motto ‘ Be Prepared’ and that is a good motto for each of us to make our own. When one is prepared the road ahead is more visible, less bumpy and the destination clearly known at the start of the journey. Exemplary speakers are a perfect example of exceptional preparation and masterly execution. The results are stupendifying.

Remember: “Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity”  Henry Hartman

Try this:

  1. Go and attend a lecture by a well known speaker. Notice the style and ease with which he/ she makes a point.  How much of the talk was extempore and how much was prepared?  Did you feel that the person had to do a lot of preparation? Can you attempt something on similar lines for a local club?
  2. Assume you have to relocate to another city. How will you go about short listing a new house and what will be the major considerations in identifying the new house? Or assume you are trying for a new job. What will be your major considerations when picking up the new job?

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