Proper preparation prevents poor performance. I have heard of the 5 P’s for years. Preparation is one of the fundamentals worthy of a leaders investment. More specifically, leaders must invest in “proper preparation.”
Preparation is usually an activity stimulated by a need ahead. When the need is evident, preparation begins.
Spiritually speaking, the Bible is filled with an emphasis on preparation. Jesus used a parable to teach the urgency of preparation in Matthew 25:1-13. Why? We do not know the day nor hour of His return. Are we prepared?
With regards to leadership, proper preparation is vital to be a successful leader. Preparation involves learning from past mistakes, counseling with others, and counting the cost before committing. The following suggestions will also provide assistance in making proper preparation.
1) Know the destination…in advance. The old adage “flying by the seat of your pants” requires no preparation, but can be destructive to leadership. Leaders need to know where they want to go. This involves setting goals and it has application in every area of life, especially in preparing lessons.
2) Establish priorities. Establishing priorities involves organizing what must be done first. Leaders need to develop the ability to determine the right priorities, personally, professionally, and spiritually.
3) Find a balance between impulsive and procrastination. Patience is a virtue. Look before you leap. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. These quotes speak of the need to prepare. Procrastination will destroy leadership, but being impulsive will also. Finding a balance between the two will aid leadership in preparing to know the right time to act.
4) Be aware of possible barriers. Fear impacts many efforts to leadership. People often fear change, uncertainty of the future, the unknown, and an endless list of phobias. Leaders need to prepare for obstacles arising out of fear. Recognizing fear allows a good leader an opportunity to prepare a way out of fear to freedom. Jesus did the same.
5) Acknowledge “every” success. Victory / success helps to develop confidence and strength to move forward. Success is not only important to achieve overall, it is also vital to recognize the small victories along the way. At every opportunity, leaders work to build up followers, encourage and instill confidence.
6) Set regular times for evaluation. The discussion on goals in the Essentials of Leadership, lays a foundation for the necessity of evaluation. Preparation to meet goals includes a time to examine progress and make necessary adjustments.