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The Boy Scout Motto: Be Prepared!

Be PreparedSure. Like, how can you be prepared for things you don’t even know will happen yet? How can you be prepared for eventualities that you still have no clue about? Exactly. If you have read the original “Scouting for Boys” by Robert Baden-Powell, you would probably be able to answer that question. Since all of us mortals cannot see into the future, or rather, we are only able to see in part, not the whole, we tend to either face it with fear or with the bravado fueled by blissful ignorance. Few face the future with confidence, and those few are the ones who can face the future with confidence because they know what it means to “Be Prepared.”

Being prepared is far more than an endless monotony of to-do lists, checklists and rehearsals. It is actually an attitude. It is a way of life. Being prepared is being able to accept the fact that you can still be overwhelmed and struck down by happenstance despite having done all that you possibly could to prepare for it. Being prepared is having the mental and intestinal fortitude to decide to get up, dust yourself off, lick your wounds and get back into business. Being prepared is being willing to take up your life in your hands and fling it down without hesitation should that be required of you. Being prepared is constantly walking your shop floor, talking to your people, cheering them with your smile, straightening them out with a sharp rebuke where necessary, tirelessly working, unseen, to create winning conditions for your people and constantly sniffing the air in the marketplace. Being prepared is frequently wargaming the course that the economy might take and having contingencies to meet those possibilities. Being prepared is to always have stakeholder value in mind much more than shareholder value. Being prepared is being willing to show your people how to clean the toilet or how to replace a faulty gauge if that is key to your business.

I don’t ask, “Are you prepared?” Instead I ask you “How prepared are you?”

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