Home > September 2016 > Prepare or Wing It?

Prepare or Wing It?

August 27th, 2016

One of my client’s senior managers was recently asked talk for an hour at a new employee orientation group. At the end, he shared that he was up half the night preparing. The DNA of Greens says it needs to be perfect, and that takes some time – and Golds aren’t exempt from over-preparing either.

Of course, the first hour after the presentation is all about negative thoughts: You didn’t do this, you should have done that, if only you had, etc. etc.

He wasn’t the “unlucky” one asked to do the presentation. He was asked because of his experience and knowledge. But it still had to be prepped and had to be perfect. Yet, would any of those new employees be able to tell his “perfect” from really good? No way. Was it worth worrying half the night? To him –yes. In the big picture and reality of the situation: No way.

Knowledge is power and preparation breeds confidence. This senior leader did a great job. However, it would have gone just as well if he had been pulled out of his office to do the talk with no notice. Talk about pushing a Green or Gold out of their comfort zone! In that situation, he would have started talking about big picture company stuff, almost been forced to engage people more, and answer more questions.

None of those would have been a bad thing. Many times, pushing a Green or Gold out of their comfort zone is doing them a huge favor. It’s not like they’d get there on their own! Then, looking back, they’ll realize you saved them hours of needless worry and preparation.

At times, it’s still a great idea to have the attitude of an Orange Senior VP who had to do a half hour talk to a group of leaders just before the Colors session: (Knowing there weren’t any) I asked him where his notes were? His reply: If you don’t prepare or have notes, you can’t screw up!

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Colors quotes: Gold – Green – Orange – Blue

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